If you’re one of the lucky ones who signed up with the Ringing Bells company to buy a Freedom 251 you only pay $4. No, not $400. Not $40. $4 as in four dollars. Here’s the secret to such a steal of a deal. That $4 is 251 rupees. Ahh, finally, a clue.
Yes, the Freedom 251 is $4 but you had to sign up in India. The smartphone itself reads like a typically inexpensive Android device. The 4-inch display makes it smaller than an iPhone SE. The 960×540 pixel qHD IPS display is smaller than the iPhone, too. It features a quad-core CPU, a full 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, a 3.2-megapixel camera on the back, and, yes indeed, it runs Android. 5.1 Lollipop to be precise. And it comes with a bunch of built-in Google Play apps.
What’s not to like? I mean, other than traveling back in time to India to place your order for the Freedom 251. The very fact that it has been manufactured and sold– regardless of the financial loss- is indicative of where the trend is among smartphone manufacturers.
The trend is to ever lower prices.
Do you see how much this Android-to-rags story is exactly like the Windows-to-rags story? And does it make sense that we will never, ever be treated to a $4 iPhone? Or, a $40 iPhone? Apple had to go back in time to come up with a $400 iPhone.
Walk into any Best Buy or any other computer stores (they’re increasingly difficult to find) and what do you see? Cheap PCs running Windows. Or, worse, cheaper PC notebooks running Google’s Chrome– Chromebooks. The trend is toward ever lower prices.
When was the last time Apple lowered the price of an iPhone? Older iPhone models sold for less than they did when originally launched, but buying a new three-model-year-old iPhone isn’t exactly a bargain, and definitely not part of the ongoing trend toward ever lower prices.
The problem as I see it is quite simple. Android, like Windows, is equated with cheap because a Samsung Galaxy S7 does much of what an Android knockoff model from China does– that’s priced at $200. And how does that model compare to the Freedom 251 at $4? Everything about the more expensive Android-based phones screams higher quality at a higher price but in the end, don’t both– the $4 Freedom 251 and a Galaxy S7 at $600, or the knockoffs for $200– do much the same thing?