Noida-based company Ringing Bells will launch India’s cheapest smartphone on Wednesday. The handset, called Freedom 251, will cost under Rs 500 and has been endorsed by the central government as part of the Make in India, Digital India and Skill India initiatives. Ringing Bells launched a 4G smartphone for Rs 2,999 recently, along with two other phones. The sub-500 phone will be launched by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Bharatiya Janata Party MP Murli Manohar Joshi.
Most smartphones in the country cost over Rs 2,500. In 2015, Reliance Communications and Datawind had announced that they would launch the world’s cheapest phone at Rs 999, but the handset has not been released yet. India is poised to take over the United States as the second-largest phone market in the world. Recently, smartphone makers Motorola, Xiaomi and Gionee started assembling handsets in India, as the government is pushing for local manufacturing.