A new Jaipur-based smartphone company, Docoss, has announced that it is going to sell smartphones at cheap prices.
To start with, the company will sell its first Android smartphone, the X1 for Rs 888. The smartphone features a 4-inch display with 1GB RAM and 4 GB internal storage expandable up to 32 GB. It will also sport a dual-core processor, Android 4.4 KitKat, a 2-megapixel rear camera and a 0.2-megapixel front camera. The battery will be a 1300 mAh unit.
But what is the catch? Strangely enough, you cannot buy the phone off the shelf or from a retail store. You have to book or pre-order the phone by Friday and the company will start delivering the phone by May 2. The website of the company crashed soon after it opened for pre-bookings due to the ultra cheap price tag.
Also, according to Facebook and Twitter accounts of the company, it only seems to be taking orders only via SMS and has asked the consumers not to call on the number provided for pre-ordering the phone. It clarified later that it was unable to book orders as too many consumers were calling the number.
Now let us go back to February when Ringing Bell’s Rs 251 smartphone - Freedom 251 - made headlines all over the country as it had given hope to millions to own a smartphone at an ultra affordable price. The smartphone was surrounded by controversies that even lead to an FIR registered against the makers by member of Parliament Kirit Somaya which dragged them to court under Indian Penal Code section 420 which deals with fraudulent cases.
Later Ringing Bells, the parent company of Freedom 251, had promised to refund consumers’ money and said that the smartphone would be sold via cash-on-delivery models. But the smartphone is yet to see the light of the day. The Ringing Bells project had also faced criticism from other players and industry experts who raised questions about the sustainability of the company.
During the February 18 launch event, Freedom 251 promoter had said the handsets would be manufactured at company-owned units in Uttarakhand. Later the same promoters had siad that the devices were being imported from third-party manufacturers in Taiwan. A few days later, the promoters again came out to say that the phone would be made at two plants in Noida and Janakpuri in Delhi, operated by “partners” of the company.
So it is natural that Docoss will breathe the same air of doubt that Freedom 251 has left behind in the minds of the Indian consumer. Docoss on its website lists that it is a Jaipur based firm and says that “DOCOSS Multimedia Private Limited is a Smartphone seller company with the lowest price but with fully loaded features. We are starting our Brand with Model DOCOSS X1. More coming soon.”
It will be interesting to see if the company is genuine and has no evil intentions to dupe the consumer. For now we our advice is wait and watch instead of investing directly into it.