Freedom 251: 25 lakh Bookings, but Cellphones yet to be Made

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The owner of ‘Ringing Bells‘, the company behind the Rs 251 smartphone that has generated disbelief and suspicion in equal measure, claimed on Friday he had reached his target of 25 lakh bookings.

He also said he would disclose his business plan in a couple of days. Amid continuous visits to his Noida office -B-44 in Sector 63 -by taxmen and cops, Mohit Goel promised to start delivering the phones, whose manufacturing or assembly is yet to start, by the end of April.

He also claimed the booking money had not been transferred to his account yet and he didn’t want it till he started delivering the phones. Asked about the pricing of the phone, which has drawn fire for unfair undercutting and accountability for the huge booking money, Goel said, “I will come out and disclose my business plan in two days. We have reached the target of 25 lakh bookings and we will start distributing by April-end. We will set up two factories, one in Noida, another in Uttarakhand.”

He claimed an assembly plant for the phone is already in place in Noida. The company’s website had crashed under pressure from 6 lakh hits per second as the phone generated tremendous curiosity after it was announced on February 17. All of Friday , as Goel said bookings were complete, nearly 200 people waited outside Ringing Bells’ rented office, most with receipts of truncated online transactions on the ‘Freedom251.com’ website.

“Till 11am on Saturday, a total of 7.35 crore people have booked the Rs 251 smartphone. We had to shut down online bookings because we are prepared to deliver only this much handsets. However, only 30,000 people have paid the amount, including shipping charges, so far. Rest of the buyers will pay once the phone is delivered,” Mohit Kumar Goel, founder of the company, said.

The company has said it will start the delivery of its smartphones from April this year and aims to deliver 7.35 crore phones by the end of 2016.

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