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Indian company 'unveils' $3.60 smartphone

Freedom 251 claims to offer 3G smartphone for just 251 rupees

Indian company 'unveils' $3.60 smartphone
Ringing Bell's Freedom 251 smartphone was supposedly offered for sale for just $3.60.

An Indian company is offering what it claims is the world's cheapest smartphone, priced at just 251 rupees ($3.60)

The Freedom 251 is being promoted as a 3G smartphone by company Ringing Bells, but even at launch, there are serious questions as to the credibility of the device, according to analysts and the BBC.

The Freedom 251 runs on Android, with a 480×800 display, and slots for a memory card and two SIM cards. The company website lists specifications as 1.3GHz quadcore processor, 1GB RAM, 3.2MP read and .3MP front cameras.

Ringing Bells announced the phone would be available for pre-order on its website, freedom251.com, with payment required in full to secure delivery by June. However, the site has been taken offline after receiving a large amount of traffic, and the company said the offer is now closed due to over-subscription.

Many analysts has said that the specifications of the phone would require components costing at least 15 times the 251 rupees asking price, and a prototype model shown at a press conference appeared to be a Chinese-manufactured model from local brand Adcom with its logo painted over. The phone appears very similar to Apple's older iPhone 4 handset, complete with a home button and icons that are nearly identical to the iPhone's, the BBC reported. Adcom also sells an ‘Ikon 4' handset, with very similar specifications for $59, although Adcom has denied any link with Freedom 251.

The Indian Cellular Association and a member of Parliament, Kirit Somaiya of the BJP, have both raised doubts about the credibility of the phone.

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