Freedom 251 was once touted to be the world’s cheapest smartphone. When it was announced, millions of people had booked the device. However, the makers failed to deliver the mobile. Mohit Goel, the man who envisioned the Freedom 251 phone, was arrested last year and stayed in jail for 6 months. But now he is back and claims that if there is a support from the government of India, the Freedom 251 smartphone could be a reality. Goel has reportedly said that if he gets support from the government, he can still deliver the handsets by March-April next year.
Goel claimed that the government did not come to his support despite his commitment to ‘Make in India’ and ‘Start-up India’ initiative by providing every single Indian citizen with a smartphone. However, Goel still hopes that the government will support this idea so that the Freedom 251 smartphone could come alive and the people who booked it get their devices. He has also talked about the reason why the Freedom 251 could not be delivered to the people who booked it. Two people from Delhi have been accused of allegedly running away with almost Rs 3.5 crore from Ringing Bells. Goel is the Managing Director of Noida-based Ringing Bells Pvt Ltd. Goel has claimed that they took the money for delivering the handsets but did not.
Police on Sunday arrested the two people after Goel filed an FIR against them for not delivering “Freedom 251” units even after the company paid them in advance. They have been sent to Dasna jail, Noida’s Superintendent of Police, City, Arun Kumar Singh told IANS.
Speaking to IANS, Goel said: “I paid the duo nearly Rs 3.5 crore and, in return, they cheated me. They syphoned off the money and did not deliver any phone. In February this year, some distributors filed a case against me and I was jailed for six months. Now with the fresh arrests, people will come to know why I failed to deliver on my promise.”
“Our company’ President Ashok Chadda is still languishing in jail. I need one opportunity to come back clean and provide people handsets by March-April next year,” Goel told IANS, adding that he is not planning anything else at the moment but to focus on his ‘Freedom 251’ dream.
Goel also spoke about the recent trend in cheap 4G phones from Reliance Jio and Airtel. He said, “The big players today have adopted my model and are now giving smartphones in as low as Rs 1,300, like Karbonn. The Jio model for paying Rs 1,500 in advance for a smartphone is similar. They have deep pockets so they can afford but why don’t people ask them how they are making smartphones so cheap?”
Ringing Bells, in mid-February 2016, had planned to deliver 2.5 million handsets before June 30, the same year. Ringing Bells received mammoth – over 70 million – registrations before its payment gateway crashed. The world’s cheapest phone made a splash across the globe, with almost every big media house writing about the “miracle device”.