Update: Barra has said on Facebook that they are resuming sales of Redmi 1S from next week (Dec 23) and will also start selling Redmi Note 4G “shortly”.
Earlier: Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has been allowed to import or sell Qualcomm chipset-based handsets in India until January 8 (hat tip – PTI News). This essentially means that Xiaomi will be able to sell Redmi Note 4G and Redmi 1S in India while Redmi Note that runs on Mediatek-based chipset will continue to remain banned. Redmi Note 4G was expected to go on sale by the end of December. Update: Xiaomi can also sell its flagship smartphone Mi4 in India, which was expected to go on sale in India in Q1 2014. The company also has to deposit Rs 100 per device it has sold or sells until January 5, as indicated by Mint.
Medianama had also learnt this from sources, however we were unable to confirm it from Xiaomi’s India head Manu Jain. The company has declined to comment on this to Medianama.
Last week, an ex-parte interim injunction by the Delhi High Court had directed custom officials to stop the imports and restrain Xiaomi from selling, advertising, manufacturing or importing devices that infringe on Ericsson’s standard essential patents (SEP). Local commissioners had also been appointed to visit Xiaomi offices to ensure the implementation of these orders.
The court had also directed Xiaomi and Flipkart (Xiaomi’s exclusive sales partner in India) to provide information on the number of mobile devices sold by the handset maker in India and the revenue earned from these sales since its India launch in July this year.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Ericsson had claimed that Xiaomi has been unfairly benefiting from its R&D investments without paying a reasonable licensee fee and its complaint was after Xiaomi ignored more than three years of its licensing communications for products compliant with the GSM, EDGE, and UMTS/WCDMA standards.
Following this judgement, the company had suspended sales of RedMi Note in India by closing pre-registrations on Flipkart. Xiaomi’s vice president of international operations Hugo Barra had claimed on Facebook that they had received about 150,000 registrations for Redmi Note in just two days, before they closed pre-registrations on Flipkart. He said:
Dear Mi fans,
We have been committed to continue our sales of Redmi Note and Redmi 1S devices in India. In the last 2 days alone, we received about 150,000 registrations for Redmi Note on Flipkart and the momentum has been terrific.
However, we have been forced to suspend sales in India until further notice due to an order passed by the Delhi High Court. As a law abiding company, we are investigating the matter carefully and assessing our legal options.
Our sincere apologies to all Indian Mi fans! Please rest assured that we’re doing all we can to revert the situation. We have greatly enjoyed our journey with you in India over the last 5 months and we firmly intend to continue it!
Stay tuned for more information.
(on behalf of the Mi India team)
In an emailed response to Medianama, Jain had reiterated that India is a very important market for Xiaomi and they are open to working with Ericsson to resolve this matter amicably. Remember that, India is Xiaomi’s second largest market and also the fastest market, as pointed out by Barra last month.
Xiaomi currently sells its devices on a weekly flash sales model through Flipkart and was planning to setup its own e-commerce site early next year, as indicated by Mint. Struggling to match the consumer demand, it had also plans to start making its smartphones in India, wherein it will design both the hardware & software of the smartphone and partner with companies to assemble the device. Barra had said that the production in India will likely begin in a year or two. However he hadn’t disclosed any specific details on where they intend to setup this manufacturing facility.