An Indian company, Ringing Bells, has launched a smartphone which is believed to be the cheapest in the world. The company, which was set up in September 2015, has pegged the price at 500 rupees ($7.30). The phone is about 1% of the latest Apple iPhone. Ringing Bells currently imports parts from overseas and assembles them in India but plans to make its phones domestically within a year, the spokeswoman has said.
Cheap smartphone handsets, many of them Chinese-made, are readily available in the Indian market but domestic competitors are making inroads, with models selling for less than $20. India is the world’s second-largest mobile market and notched up its billionth mobile phone subscriber in October, according to the country’s telecoms regulator. But in poorer Indian states such as Bihar, “teledensity” — the penetration of telephone connections for every hundred people — is as low as 54 percent, with a stark urban-rural divide.