GAME OVER: Creator of $4 smartphone just got his bell rung!


Freedom 251

It is said that even the smartest of people can get confused trying to identifying an ironic situation. Luckily, the irony in this particular news story about Freedom 251 is so glaringly obvious that you would have to be a wooden plank not to understand it.

The creator of the famous $4 smartphone — dubbed Freedom 251 — was jailed on February 23. Confused? Here’s a crash course history refresher from the GizChina archives – Freedom 251 by Ringing Bells.

Just over one year ago, Mohit Goel, Director of the Indian company Ringing Bells had announced the launch of smartphones (touch screen et al.) at a ridiculous price of just $4. Now we are aware that cheap; low quality “breakthrough” technology does the rounds every year but Goel’s claims were deceptively simple and very quickly gained viral status.

Freedom 251 Mohit Goel

Ringing Bells promised to launch a $4 smartphone with 1 GB of RAM, a 1.3 GHz processor and 8 GB of ROM. It claimed to have acquired subsidies from the government which allowed the sale of the smartphone at such absurd rates.

Further confusing matters was the fact that there were official photos and reports of the smartphone all over the Internet.

The Freedom 251 has been ringing all kinds of alarm bells now that we know that it was a fraud campaign. A rather clever one too, we might add.

When we published a first news report last year, GizChina readers were quick to point out sarcastically that the screen would probably consist of 8 LEDs and the smartphone would be powered by a couple of AA batteries – which were not included, of course.

On the day of the purported launch, surprise surprise, Freedom 251’s official website crashed, leaving tens of thousands of people in dismay. Goel was quick to issue a broadcast thanking the public for their support. The website was back up soon thereafter and received more than 60 million registrations in the first two days. Ringing Bells thereafter closed registrations owing to the “response far exceeding expected numbers.”

Freedom 251 2

It was all fun and games until the official distributor of the smartphone, Ayam Enterprises, claimed that Goel had defrauded them of almost $2,500. Not exactly on par with the Apple-Samsung lawsuit but hey, we’re talking about a $4 smartphone here!

Almost exactly a year after this announcement we have learned that the entire debacle was a hoax. Our heart goes out to the folks who shelled out $4 of their hard-earned money to this ponzi scheme.

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13 Comments

  1. NextHype
    February 27, 2017

    60 million registrations… wtf is wrong with ppl -_-

    • goodwill
      February 27, 2017

      It’s all indians and India’s polulation is in the billion so it is possible. Not forgetting many are still rather poor. Specially, rural areas. Wouldnt be surprised if they were tempted by it.

    • balcobomber25
      February 27, 2017

      People see a low price and they lose their minds and suspend all logic.

      • NextHype
        February 28, 2017

        You mean like… when Cartman buys a pack of 3 Jerry Maguire DVDs at Walmart because it’s only $5 ?

    • MitsosDaBest
      February 27, 2017

      It was just $4. They gave it a try… =P

      • NextHype
        February 28, 2017

        “just $4” ? You clearly don’t know what 4 bucks can buy in India ! I saw children sold for less than that. Vivek, as an exemple, was bought $5 by Andi.

        (competing in “the most hateful and stupid jokes of 2017” category, not intended to outrage any feeling)

  2. balcobomber25
    February 27, 2017

    Of course it was a hoax, anyone who didn’t see that when it was first announced deserves to lose their $4. Consider it a life lesson.

    • Ibrahim Bahakim
      February 27, 2017

      I pay more than 7 bucks for MacDonald’s and I don’t consider it a life lesson.

      • balcobomber25
        February 27, 2017

        McDonalds actually gives you a product in return, this company just took your $4 and said have a nice day.

        • Ibrahim Bahakim
          February 27, 2017

          aw how kind of them to say “have a nice day”. I’d pay 4 bucks for that.

          • balcobomber25
            February 27, 2017

            Again McDonalds is giving you something, this company is just taking your money…

  3. blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
    February 28, 2017

    fun like a moddafokke

  4. March 2, 2017

    there’s actually a documentary on stupidity, this situation is further evidence that stupid people are in masses, this should be featured in that documentary or included in you tube clips of people doing stupid things in the internet. haven’t people ever heard that if the deal is too good, think twice?