It is the cheapest trick in the book, at least when it comes to smartphones. After Freedom 251 and Docoss X1, a company called Namotel has come up with the ‘world’s cheapest smartphone’ priced at Rs 99.
We should point out that Namotel as a brand or name was something no one has heard of before, but given the Ringing Bells and Docoss story, we are not surprised that another ‘newcomer’ has launched a cheap smartphone and that too with a name that rings a bell.
Company promoter Madhava Reddy claims he is marketing the world’s cheapest smartphone, the Namotel Acche Din, for just Rs 99. If you said Reddy who, you’re not the first.
According to this story on PhoneRadar, Reddy appears to have worked as a relationship manager in the Axis Bank’s Home Loans department before. What’s he doing selling smartphones, and how did he make the jump from home loans to promoter of a company? Keeping guessing, because nobody has a clue.
According to the company, Namotel Acche Din has a 4-inch display, runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop, and is powered by 1.3GHz quad-core processor along with 1 GB RAM and 4GB storage space. The smartphone will be available for booking between May 17 to 25, 2016.
Namotel.com shows the price has been slashed from Rs 2,999 to Rs 99 and that the smartphone is available on cash-on-delivery basis. It also adds that nominal delivery charges will be levied. And we know for a fact that Rs 2,999 is the price a phone with these specs should have.
According to PhoneRadar, which managed to open the website, that ‘nominal’ delivery fee is Rs 199, which means that it costs more than the phone and frankly makes no sense. And yes like with Freedom 251, Namotel and its promoter insist their product is ‘Made in India’. Better still, it will be sold only to those who are holding a valid Aadhaar card.
The company has also added a note on its site that says, “Pictures shown on website is for illustration purposes only.”
Of course, its anybody’s guess if the phone is an illustration or an illusion, but given that no one has heard of this Namotel, illusion would be our best bet.
As far as Rs 99 pricing goes, there is no logic or economic theory to support it, and we have discussed in the past how its not possible for any company to sell smartphones at such prices, given that it won’t even cover the cost of manufacturing the phone.