Local residents thronged the office of Ringing Bells Pvt. Ltd, a little known mobile manufacturing company in Noida’s Sector 63, to buy the Freedom 251 smartphone.
People reached the office in the morning itself after seeing full-page advertisements of the Rs 251 smartphone in Wednesday’s newspapers.
“Smart phone buyers got confused with advertisements that informed that bookings for the ‘Freedom 251’ will open on February 18 at 6am and will close on February 21 at 8pm. Buyers thought they could directly buy the smartphone from its head office in Sector 63 and started visiting it,” said an employee of Ringing Bells requesting anonymity.
Bookings for the phone are supposed to start on February 18 at 6 am. The phone, which cost Rs 251 (less than $4), is the cheapest smartphone the world.
Watch | Freedom 251, world’s ‘cheapest’ smartphone launched in India
A police team had to be sent to the office as precautionary measure. “We sent a team because a mob had gathered outside. It is our duty to ensure that peace is not disturbed in the rush,” said Kiran Sivakumar senior superintendent of police (SSP) Gautam Budh Nagar.
“My friend told me to go to Sector 63 to buy a smart phone for Rs 251. I thought he was joking. When I came here to buy one, the staff told me book the phone online tomorrow,” said Anil Khatka, 25, who works with a restaurant in Sector 63.
A scrap dealer from Baghpat, Gulshan Rasool, 40, said: “I thought what is the harm in buying a smart phone for Rs 251. Thank God, the company has an office in Noida and it is not a fraud advertisement. I will book it online tomorrow.”
The security guard said about 5,000 people visited the office till 4 pm. “We are irritated answering queries. We have asked our management to deploy a team to do that tomorrow,” said Rupesh Kumar, one of the guards. He said the entire staff of the company had gone to attend launch of the phone in New Delhi.