An Indian company has launched what is being described as the world’s cheapest smartphone, priced at less than $4.
Ringing Bells, a little-known manufacturer based in the northern Uttar Pradesh state, started selling the Freedom 251 on its website on Thursday.
The phone was unveiled a day ahead of the launch and is being sold for 251 rupees ($3.66) – a price that sceptics said was far lower than what its components would cost.
Overwhelming demand caused Ring of Bells’ website to crash hours after the phone went on sale, but it was back up and running on Thursday evening.
The company currently imports the parts of Freedom 251 from Taiwan and assembles them in India.
The phone comes with a 10cm display and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM. It comes with an in-built storage of 8GB which can further be expanded up to 32GB with a microSD card
Despite the low cost, Ringing Bells claims to have received no subsidies from the government. The smartphone will only be available online initially, which will help the firm cut costs and maintain the price.
Customers will also get several apps pre-installed in the phone including Women Safety, Swachh Bharat or Clean India, Fisherman, Farmer, Medical, Google Play, WhatsApp, Facebook, and YouTube.