India's $7 Smartphone Set to Disrupt World's Third Largest Mobile Market

by

An Indian handset maker will tomorrow launch the country's cheapest smartphone, in a move that's likely to disrupt its booming mobile market of over 200 million users.

Called Freedom 251 and priced at under Rs 500 ($7), the handset is being manufactured by domestic handset maker Ringing Bells as part of the government's Made in India campaign, which promotes and encourages local manufacturing.

The introduction of the handset, which is likely 3G-enabled, has received full backing from the country's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who described the launch as "empowering India to the last person" and "transforming India's growth story," the Noida-based company said.

"The phone will be popularly priced at under Rs 500 and the launch stands as a true testimony of success of the latest initiatives taken by the Government of India," read media invites sent out by the firm.

indian_flag
Ringing Bells recently launched one of India's cheapest 4G handsets at Rs 2,999 ($43), however the most affordable smartphones in India are currently priced between Rs 1,500 ($22) and Rs 2,000 ($29). Another Indian company called DataWind announced plans last year to launch the world's cheapest smartphone at Rs 999 ($14.6), but that device has yet to hit the market.

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently praised India's business environment during a town hall meeting and stated that the company is putting increasingly more energy into the country, which has the third largest smartphone market in the world, behind China and the U.S.

Just last month, Apple sent an application to the country's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) for approval of several planned retail outlets in India, in which less than one third of the population uses smartphones.

In December, Apple cut the prices of its iPhone 6s and 6s Plus handsets in India by up to 16 percent, following a reported dive in sales. The move quickly followed Apple's decision to halve the price of iPhone 5s, from 45,500 Rupees to 24,999 Rupees.

Tag: India

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
61 months ago

Sadly a country, where more people have access to mobile phones, than toilets.

Development shouldn't be single dimensional but multi-dimensional.
This government is on its track to put things together and increase employment in the country.

For a country that was in deep **** for more than 60+ years of congress Party rule, these guys are doing a much better job. We also need to consider how chaotic it is to deal with a country 1/3 the size of United States of America but 3 times the size of US population. The challenges are many fold but working towards it and achieving success from its failures will what a make a country bright and true global cities...

And for many who are ignorant about how complex India, let me try putting it here...

1. It has 18 official languages with Hindi and English as its official Federal languages
2. Every state in India has its own language (Unlike dialects) and thousands of dialects spoken in every district and county level.
3. To give an understanding of how important these languages are - 7 of 20 largest spoken languages in the world are spoken in India and its their mother tongue...
4. The geography is extremely different from one state to the other.
5. And to top it off, there are many religions and deep rooted castes.
6. Out of its 1.3 Billion people, there are 400 Million people living its cities and urban centers. That's 120% of US population living in cities.

There are many things that I can go about this fascinating country and its complex structure. No country which speaks 2 or more majority speaking languages has survived without skirmishes and its own problems. Now you just need to think how big a head ache it is for the State and Federal Governments to run this country with such diversity and a feeling of togetherness under a single code and still be a democracy... To me its no ordinary feet but something beyond extraordinary... :)

So to drive a business and provide a robust environment for business, trade and economy, the Indian government is doing its every bit and with it comes its fair share of failures and success which the people understand and take it in their stride...

And to say the least, India is a free country which has a successful democracy where every one can voice their opinions for and against the government without loosing their head. On the other hand, China might have had its successes but at the cost of democracy and freedom is never worth it... :)

Just like the Singapore Statesman - Lee Kwan Yew said - 'I was trying to create, in a third world situation, a first world oasis'. Hope the same holds for India as well but with its sheer size and diversity it will take time... Just hang in there...
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
61 months ago

This is actually a positive for Apple. They benefit from more mature markets that are saturated with crap products. A nation of people using these phones will be prime to upgrade to a better experience. Then there's the status of having a real iPhone. Like every other market, Apple will be able to skim the profitable sales of the top and leave the others in a fight for the bottom. People don't buy on price, if they did Apple would have been closed 30 years ago.

There's a lot of presumption behind the thought that the products will be crap; an assumption based on the sale price I assume. The phones are most likely gov't subsidized so there's no real correlation between price and quality. The phones could easily rival the quality of Xiomi's offerings. As for Apple offering a better experience, it's an opinion. One that's not backed up by the numbers. These phones will most likely have no affect on Apple's sales in India. Apple's market is premium handsets. The people choosing premium handsets typically choose between Apple and Samsung. Those choosing Apple aren't that numerous right now (less than 2%). There is a world of difference, and a lot of handset price points, between $7 and $700. Even at upgrade, this isn't a cross shopping opportunity.

People don't buy on price?:confused: Yes they do. They also buy on value, perception, acceptance, peer pressure, and myriad other reasons. Blanket statements tend to paint people in corners. Unnecessarily.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
61 months ago
Makes $799 seem a little ridiculous...
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
61 months ago

('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/02/16/india-7-dollar-smartphone/')


An Indian handset maker will tomorrow launch the country's cheapest smartphone, in a move that's likely to disrupt its booming mobile market of over 200 million users.

Called Freedom 251 and priced at under Rs 500 ($7), the handset is being manufactured by domestic handset maker Ringing Bells as part of the government's Made in India campaign, which promotes and encourages local manufacturing.

The introduction of the handset, which is likely 3G-enabled, has received full backing from the country's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who described the launch as "empowering India to the last person" and "transforming India's growth story," the Noida-based company said.

"The phone will be popularly priced at under Rs 500 and the launch stands as a true testimony of success of the latest initiatives taken by the Government of India," read media invites sent out by the firm.



Ringing Bells recently launched one of India's cheapest 4G handsets at Rs 2,999 ($43), however the most affordable smartphones in India are currently priced between Rs 1,500 ($22) and Rs 2,000 ($29). Another Indian company called DataWind announced plans last year to launch the world's cheapest smartphone at Rs 999 ($14.6), but that device has yet to hit the market.

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently praised ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/02/04/cook-town-hall/') India's business environment during a town hall meeting and stated that the company is putting increasingly more energy into the country, which has the third largest smartphone market in the world, behind China and the U.S.

Just last month, Apple sent an application ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/01/20/apple-india-retail-stores/') to the country's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) for approval of several planned retail outlets in India, in which less than one third of the population uses smartphones.

In December, Apple cut the prices ('https://www.macrumors.com/2015/12/21/apple-reduces-price-of-iphone-6s-india/') of its iPhone 6s and 6s Plus handsets in India by up to 16 percent, following a reported dive in sales. The move quickly followed Apple's decision to halve the price ('https://www.macrumors.com/2015/12/14/iphone-5s-by-almost-half-in-india/') of iPhone 5s, from 45,500 Rupees to 24,999 Rupees.

Article Link: India's $7 Smartphone Set to Disrupt World's Third Largest Mobile Market ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/02/16/india-7-dollar-smartphone/')

This is actually a positive for Apple. They benefit from more mature markets that are saturated with crap products. A nation of people using these phones will be prime to upgrade to a better experience. Then there's the status of having a real iPhone. Like every other market, Apple will be able to skim the profitable sales of the top and leave the others in a fight for the bottom. People don't buy on price, if they did Apple would have been closed 30 years ago.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
61 months ago

Makes $799 seem a little ridiculous...

It also makes an Android priced at $349 phone seem a little ridiculous.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
61 months ago
You get what you pay for
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter [Updated]

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Google Reportedly Pays Apple $8-12 Billion Per Year to be Default iOS Search Engine

Sunday October 25, 2020 2:59 pm PDT by
The United States Justice Department is targeting a lucrative deal between Apple and Google as part of one of the U.S. government's largest antitrust cases, reports The New York Times. On Tuesday, the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, claiming the Mountain View-based company used anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and advertising markets to ...

After Mocking Apple, Samsung May Remove Power Adapter From Galaxy S21 Box

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:29 pm PDT by
Samsung's Galaxy S21, coming in 2021, may not include a power adapter or headphones in the box, according to reports from Korean media sites highlighted by SamMobile. Rumors earlier this year also said that Samsung was considering removing these accessories from future smartphone models, but that didn't stop Samsung from mocking Apple for selling the iPhone 12 models without a power adapter...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 12 Six-Foot Drop Test Results: Ceramic Shield More Durable But Not Damage Proof

Monday October 26, 2020 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro feature a new Ceramic Shield screen that Apple says offers 4x better drop performance. To test that claim, Allstate Protection Plans put the two models through a range of breakability tests and recorded the results. In a face down sidewalk drop test at six feet, the iPhone 12 suffered small cracks and scuffed corners and edges, leaving sharp grooves in ...

Bloomberg: New AirPods and AirPods Pro Coming in 2021, AirPods Studio Delayed, Third HomePod Model Also Possible

Monday October 26, 2020 3:34 am PDT by
Apple plans to update its AirPods line next year with two new models including third-generation AirPods and second-generation AirPods Pro, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on two new models: third-generation entry-level AirPods and the second version of the AirPods Pro earbuds, according to people familiar with the plans. ...

2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison

Tuesday October 27, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple announced the new 2020 fourth-generation iPad Air in September, but the new tablets just started shipping out to customers last Friday. We picked one up and thought we'd do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, because both tablets are about as powerful and share many similarities. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design and ...

iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Still 'Scratches at Level 6 With Deeper Grooves at Level 7' in Mohs Hardness Test

Wednesday October 28, 2020 7:10 am PDT by
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new Ceramic Shield front cover that is "tougher than any smartphone glass," according to Apple, but the displays on the devices still have similar scratch resistance as previous iPhones based on a new test. Zack Nelson today shared his much-anticipated iPhone 12 Pro durability test on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, and based on the Mohs...

Apple Files Mystery 'Personal Computer' With Placeholder 'B2002' Name in Bluetooth Product Database

Tuesday October 27, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
Last week, a listing appeared in the Bluetooth product database for an Apple product with a placeholder name "B2002" and a model number of "TBD." MacRumors was alerted to the listing by health and fitness tech website MyHealthyApple. The product is filed under the "personal computer" category, which Apple has used for previous Mac and iPad listings in the database, so it is hard to pinpoint...