No sooner than Freedom 251 for put up for open sale, the website received a humongous 6 lacs hits per second as a result of which the website crashed. As upsetting as it may be for the mobile industry, the public’s response was quite unexpected for Ringing Bells and their servers as well.
Caught up in resolving the technical issues with the website, Freedom 251 confirmed the pause of sale and has promised the buyers to return within next 24 hours. On the contrary, the mobile industry has raised major concerns in reference to Freedom 251 being launched at such a low price.
The Indian Cellular Association (ICA) expressed their disappointment over the involvement of Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, MP and Sri Manohar Parrikar, the Union Defence Minister of India who officially launched Freedom 251. ICA said that it is not appropriate for senior political leaders to be present at such an event till the problems regarding the same are resolved.
Call it a genuine concern or a threat of competitor, Freedom 251 has managed to get all the attention on a national level. ICA has expressed it with great regret to Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Telecom Minister of India, to look into the matter. It is said that ICA has stated, even if a new mobile is launched after a subsidized sale, the rates cannot be under the bracket of Rs 3,500.
ICA has raised a point of concern saying that the value for a bill of material for a mobile handset costs roughly around Rs. 2,700 which is around $40. That too, the price is estimated to this figure when the components included in BOM are sourced from the cheapest supply chain. Moving ahead, ICA National President Pankaj Mohindroo also mentioned in his letter on how the price escalates with the supply chain hierarchy.
He stated, when this estimated figure is translated into a retail price post the addition of applicable taxes, distribution margin and retail margins, the actual price goes up to Rs 4,100 which is the least estimated amount. In addition to all this, ICA raised serious concerns on the price as this scenario is going against the way the industry operates.
The letter concluded to take appropriate actions in order to avoid any circumstances that may portray the industry and trade along with the nation and government in a poor light in future. As it is being speculated that these concerns are the reason why Freedom 251 paused the sale, the air will get cleared only post 24 hours. Till then, let’s wait and watch!