Freedom 251 is "impossible", says Datawind's Suneet Tulli

By Prasid Banerjee | Published on 20 Feb 2016

Tulli called the units Ringing Bells has promised as a “donation”, and rubbished the economies of scale theory.

Freedom 251 is "impossible", says Datawind's Suneet Tulli

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Datawind CEO, Suneet Singh Tulli, branded the Freedom 251 smartphone as "a marketing promotion for an existing Chinese product that is already selling in Nehru Place". Talking about how the Freedom 251 differs from the Aakash tablet, Tulli said that there is no way someone can make a product like this, adding that "it is impossible". Tulli explained that making a phone with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage costs about $5.5 (approx. Rs. 380) for the memory alone, reiterating that the product is impossible to make.

Tulli called the units that Ringing Bells has promised a “donation”, adding that the economies of scale theory is "not going to work". In addition, Tulli also said that Ashok Chadha’s other claim, that crores of people will come to the Ringing Bells website, and then buy some other product, is also something that no one else has been able to do.

“I’m sure they will deliver some, not that they’ll not deliver any. I’ve heard that the guy’s delivered 5 crore registrations and he will deliver 25 lakh units. He can deliver even 5 crore if he wants, but there’s no way that he can make them at Rs. 251.” Tulli said that the cost of the components for the device, at this time, would be around Rs. 2,000, which means that Ringing Bells is selling at nearly a tenth of the cost, which seems improbable to say the least.

Further, Tulli explained that the market price of the product would ideally be more than the cost, which is evident from the fact that the fact that the Adcom Ikon 4 sells online for about Rs. 4,000. Tulli spoke about how the Aakash tablet was launched at the UN, and it wasn’t “somebody else’s product with whitener on it”, emphasising on the fact that there is no comparison between the Freedom 251 and the Aakash tablet. He also said that the Aakash tablet was a 1,00,000-unit deal with the government, and Datawind has sold its other product under the Ubislate brand, which is nothing like Ringing Bells’ initiative.

Prasid Banerjee

Trying to explain technology to my parents. Failing miserably.


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