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A little-known Indian company is launching a smartphone believed to be the cheapest in the world, targeting a market already dominated by low-cost handsets.
Set to be priced at under 500 rupees (about £5.10), domestic handset maker Ringing Bells’ Freedom 251 smartphone is about 1% of the price of the latest Apple iPhone.
Ringing Bells was set up in September 2015 and began selling mobile phones via its website a few weeks ago under its Bell brand, a spokeswoman said.
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“This is our flagship model and we think it will bring a revolution in the industry,” she told AFP. Ringing Bells currently imports parts from overseas and assembles them in India but plans to make its phones domestically within a year, the spokeswoman added.
Cheap smartphones, many of them Chinese-made, are readily available in the Indian market but domestic competitors are making inroads, with models selling for less than £14.
India is the world’s second-largest mobile market and notched up its billionth mobile phone subscriber in October, according to the country’s telecoms regulator.
But in poorer Indian states such as Bihar, “teledensity” – the penetration of telephone connections for every 100 people – is as low as 54%, with a stark urban-rural divide.
2016.02.17 / 15:58