The controversy created by the so-called cheapest smartphone Freedom 251 is still being warm, and again ignited by another entrant Docoss X1. Astonishingly priced at an implausible Rs. 888 ($13.3), Docoss X1 seems like another Freedom 251 in the making. Jaipur-based Docoss Multimedia Pvt. Ltd. has created quite a buzz in the market with its Docoss X1 smartphone which will reportedly be available at the jaw-dropping price of Rs. 888.
The buzzing affair of Docoss X1, however, appears fishy by the fact that the company was registered just a few days back on April 27th, 2016 according to INRegistry. Besides, the description on company’s website appears quite auspicious; it reads “DOCOSS Multimedia Pvt. Ltd. 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.”
The features of the phone are quite similar to the controversial Freedom 251 which was announced to be sold at a mere Rs. 251. Both the smartphones have a 4-inch display and 1 GB RAM, but the specifications of Docoss X1 are a little lower as compared to Ringing Bells’ Freedom 251.
Unlike Ringing Bells who promised the delivery of their Freedom 251 smartphone by June in-spite of taking orders in February, Docoss is taking the pre-orders by April 29th and has promised the availability of the device from May 2nd. The dubious fact arises due to the company’s recent registry; one wonders how the company will manage to deliver a number of smartphones in a short span of time until and unless they have a huge pile of the product.
Considering its manufacturing cost the hyped up event looks murkier. The Bill of Materials (BoM) used to manufacture Docoss X1 ponders around Rs 2,500 ($37.6) excluding the taxes, the shipping and handling costs that are incredibly high considering its selling price of Rs. 888. The question arises as to how the company can survive sustaining such huge losses.
Why So Hype and the Aftermath
Presuming the whole affair being fruitful, this phone will cater the needs of many middle-class and lower middle-class Indians. It will also shrink the gap between India and China in terms of consumer base of smartphones to a large extent making India the largest consumer base in the world.
India being the second largest consumer base of smartphones still poses a huge window of opportunity as a mere 17.6% of the total population owns a smartphone. The fact is catalyzed by a Gartner report regarding the smartphone sales that proclaims a mere 7% YoY growth in global smartphone sales in 2016, whereas the figure jumps up to a whopping 29% as we turn towards India.
The mobile data traffic is also anticipated to increase by a mammoth figure of almost 85% by 2020 with 702 million subscribers. The $13 smartphone will act as a secret weapon for boosting such adoption. The cheapest smartphones are still costlier for the lower class people. The cheap one is still cost around Rs. 2,190($33) for example the Karbonn K 85. Though the number of LTE subscribers in India has been growing for the last couple of months, a majority of the Indians are still relying on 2G and 3G networks. Being a 3G enabled smartphone, Docoss X1 will be a boon for such people and bring many others staying in rural areas with on the internet.
Still a chunk of the masses in India are void of technology that gives them access to the Internet. Smartphones are being the fastest and the easiest way to connect people with the internet, still got to be cheaper enough to become a commodity product for a majority of Indian population. If unlike Freedom 251, Docoss Xi becomes a reality then it has all the potential to revolutionise the smartphone industry in India.