Ringing Bells, the firm that promised to come up with the cheapest smartphone more than four months ago, is now preparing to launch a price competitive high definition (HD) LED television. While, its dream project – a smartphone priced at Rs 251 (less than $4) – is yet to materialise, Mohit Goel, managing director, will be unveiling the new TV and two other smartphones on Thursday. Also Read: Rs 251 Phones Ready, Will Launch 'Cheapest' HD LED TV: Ringing Bells
According to sources, Ringing Bells’ Freedom HD LED TV will be priced around Rs 10,000. While the price of HD LED television sets currently start from Rs 7,000 for a 16-inch model, Goel did not specify the screen size of the TV he will be introducing. In line with the claims made earlier, he claimed the new television will create “another price revolution in Indian consumer electronics”, indicating a much cheaper price than that are presently available in the market. He declined to reveal more before the launch. Also Read: India's $4 Smartphone Rings Alarm Bell On Workers' Conditions, Campaigners SayTypically, HD LED television sets that have screen sizes 32 inches or bigger sell the most in India. Less than 30 per cent of the total HD LED televisions sold in the past year were smaller than 32 inches.
Better viewing experience and compatibility of HD LED technology with 32 inches or above screen sizes is a major factor. “While the size of their TV is unknown, a 32-inch HD LED TV cannot be sold at Rs 10,000 without making huge losses” an industry executive said. LED panels, which comprise nearly 65 per cent of the total cost of a television, are currently imported from Taiwan, China and Japan.
Also Read: Cheaper Than A McDonald's Burger! After Ringing Bells, A Company Called Namotel Promises Smartphone At Rs 99 “The price cannot be reduced below a certain level as the panels have to be imported,” he added.One of the two smartphones that Goel plans to unveil tomorrow is an updated version of Freedom251, with bigger screen and a more powerful battery. The second handset will be fourth-generation enabled, sources said. While, delivery of Freedom251, the much hyped Rs 251 smartphone, is yet to initiate, the new claims from Ringing Bells management has again moved the spotlights on the company and its owners.
During the past months, since the firm promised to come up with the idea of Freedom251 in late-February, delivery dates of the product have been postponed many a times. And the president of the company, Ashok Kumar Chadha, who used to be the chief spokesperson for the Freedom251 project, has left. When Goel first spoke of Freedom251, it led millions of consumers in the country to the company’s website where the registrations took place. According to the firm, it received in excess of 70 million registrations, of which 30,000 people deposited the money in advance. No smartphone has been delivered as promised. And, Ringing Bells had to refund the money collected to customers after government agencies like the enforcement directorate, income tax department and the Noida police started probing.
THE STORY SO FAR
- 17 Feb: Announces cheapest smartphone Freedom251 at Rs 251
- 18 Feb: Booking for Freedom251 starts, website crashes
- 19 Feb: Its registered office found to be illegal, Goel says property never belonged to them
- 20 Feb: Govt cracks down on firm, dept of excise, I-T, electronics start investigation
- 22 Feb: I-T dept, Enforcement Directorate raid firm's Noida office
- 24 Feb: Goel claims to have raised Rs 63 cr from 2.5 mn registrations
- 28 Feb: RB starts refunding money, Noida police lodge FIR against Mohit Goel, Dharna Goel and Ashok Chadha
- 30 Mar: Allahabad HC grants them interim bail
- 14 Jun: Goel reappears in front of the media, claims to delivery of Freedom251 from 28 June
- 28 Jun: Backtracks again, says delivery only after a week
- 5 Jul: Announces launch of HD LED TV, new smartphones on 7 July