The controversy surrounding Freedom 251, the Rs. 251 smartphone that captured the world’s attention, doesn’t seem to be dying down. After Ringing Bells, the Noida-based maker of the smartphone, earlier this week tried to reassure users by promising to refund the first phase’s 30,000 customers, now Adcom has issued a statement to dissociate itself from the company.
In an emailed statement to Gadgets 360, Sanjeev Bhatia, Founder & Chairman, Advantage Computers (Adcom), said the company had sold the handsets to Ringing Bells at Rs. 3,600 per handset, and did not know about the Noida-based company’s plans to resell the devices.
To recall, the company had showcased the Adcom Ikon 4 smartphones to media around its launch last month. Ringing Bells had then clarified that the handset it distributed is just an early prototype, and that the internal components are unique. “Only the body and touch panel come from Adcom,” President Ashok Chadha told Gadgets 360.
If Adcom’s statement is to be believed, then that is certainly not the case. In the meanwhile, another smartphone maker caused some controversy this week. Kochi-based mPhone Electronics and Technologies was due to launch its ‘Mango Phone’ or ‘mPhone’ range of smartphones on Monday, but two of the three brothers that helm the company were reportedly instead arrested from the launch venue due to pending bank fraud cases against them.
Here is Sanjeev Bhatia’s full statement reproduced in its entirety.
“Touted to be the biggest scam of the millennium, Freedom 251, had recently announced that it would give out 25 lakh handsets in the first phase before June this year. Ensued by such unrealistic price rates and naive pronouncements, the parent company ‘Ringing Bells’ was not only accused of running a disgraceful ploy, but has also relabelled our brand Adcom. To clear the air around, I would like to underline few facts pertaining to case, as this scam exhibits the potential of maligning our brand name Adcom which is our trademark since 2001. Yes , it is true that, although we sold the handsets to ‘Ringing Bells’ earlier, like we sell Adcom mobiles to lakhs of users; we were absolutely unaware of the reselling plans of the company in question. Furthermore, we still haven’t been able to evaluate their pricing policy, as we sold the handsets at Rs. 3,600 per unit. We are deeply grieved by this incident where our mobile phone has been presented to masses for Rs. 251, and therefore, would not hesitate from taking any legal actions against the company, in case the entire fiasco impacts Adcom’s brand name or subsequently we face any other kind of losses. We would also like to assert that Adcom is in no way connected or linked with Ringing Bells or Freedom 251 and bears no responsibility what so ever, in the whole swindle and regret the inconvenience caused to our valued customers from all over the country.”