Xiaomi has obtained a partial lift off the injunction banning it from selling all of its smartphones in India, after the Delhi High court decided that its Qualcomm-powered devices should not be affected by the ban.
Justice G.P. Mittal, of the Delhi High Court, had imposed a total ban on imports and sales of Xiaomi devices in India last week, at the request of Swedish telecom giant Ericsson. Ericsson alleged that Xiaomi is refusing to pay licenses for eight of its patents, pertaining to AMR, EDGE, and 3G technologies. Xiaomi was banned from selling any of its own devices until the next hearing in the case, which is scheduled for January 8, 2015.
Following in the footsteps of Motorola and ASUS, Xiaomi has now entered into a pact with Flipkart for exclusive sale in the Indian market.
For those who don’t know Xiaomi is the third-largest smartphone manufacturer in China. It is also dubbed as “the Apple of China” all thanks to the similarity in the design of OS of their phones (MiUI) and the CEO of the company to that of Cupertino.
Xiaomi is now looking to expand its operations to India, the second-fastest growing smartphone market with its super-inexpensive smartphones.
It is launching three phones in India — the Mi3 at RS. 13,999, the RedMi 1S at Rs. 6,999 and the RedMi Note at Rs. 9,999. The Mi3 will be available on 22nd July whereas the other two will be launched sometime in August.
As told above all three phones will be available via Flipkart and you have to register on Flipkart to be eligible for buying the phones whenever they become available. Registrations are open for the Mi3, till 21st July.
The Xiaomi Mi 3 sports a 5-inch Full HD display and is powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB RAM. It runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (according to Flipkart) with Xiaomi’s proprietary MIUI v5 skin on top though the actual Xiaomi website states that it will run on Android 4.4 KitKat. It packs 16GB internal storage, but since it does not support storage expansion via microSD cards the user might just get about 13.22 Gn of available space.
Xiaomi Mi 3 dons a 13MP camera with dual-LED flash (by Philips) on the back and a 2MP camera in front. Connectivity suite of the smartphone consists of 2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB 2.0 and NFC. It has a 3,050mAh battery, and Xiaomi claims that the smartphone can deliver talk time of up to 21 hours on 3G networks.
Made of aluminium-magnesium alloy, this smartphone weighs 145 gram and is 8.1mm thick.
The smartphone will come with Xiaomi’s Mi Cloud service, which will allow users to save and access their contacts, messages, photos, notes and call logs online. They will also be able to back up apps in the cloud and locate the handset online in case it is lost.
Xiaomi Redmi 1S, which was unveiled earlier this year, sports a 4.7-inch 720p IPS display. It is powered by a 1.6GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor and 1GB RAM. It comes with 16GB internal storage and a microSD card slot that supports storage cards of up to 64GB. The phone has a 2000mAh battery and runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with Xiaomi’s MiUi layer on top. It sports an 8MP rear camera and a 1.6MP front facing camera.
Unveiled in May, Xiaomi Redmi Note phablet sports a 5.5-inch 720p IPS display. It is powered by a 1.7GHz MediaTek MT6592 octa-core processor and 2GB RAM. It comes with 8GB internal storage and a microSD card slot that supports storage cards of up to 32GB. The phone has a 3100mAh battery and runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with Xiaomi’s MiUi layer on top. It sports a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front facing camera.
During its launch in Singapore, 5,000 units of Redmi Note, priced at S$199 (Rs 9,600 approximately), were sold out in just 42 seconds. Judging by the pricing of Mi 3 in India, we expect the company to unveil the other phones at an equally competitive prices.
Talking about the company’s India operations, Manu Jain, India operations head, Xiaomi, said
“We are looking to provide the best in class experience to our Mi fans in India. We are starting with 35+ service centres across top 20 cities, a hotline that operates 7 days a week, and a vibrant Mi India Facebook page. Our partner Flipkart, with its world-class technology and customer service, will be key to providing this experience.”
Xiaomi Mi3 sales will commence July 22 at 12 noon on Flipkart. However, interested buyers will need to pre-register before July 22 on Flipkart to become eligible. The company will have a dedicated helpline to track orders. Xiaomi will have 36 service centres in India with two exclusive Mi centres in Delhi and Bangalore.
the company aims to reach out to consumers through technology influencers, fans, social media and enthusiasts and will not look at spending big on advertising and marketing, at least in the initial phase.
Xiaomi intends to sell its phones exclusively through an online model. Initially, it has partnered with Flipkart, however, it plans to start selling phones on its own website, in the near future, according to Jain. The company is also open to partnering with other online retailers.
Hugo Barra, vice president of Xiaomi, said during the Q/A session that the company aims to reach out to consumers through technology influencers, fans, social media and enthusiasts and will not look at spending big on advertising and marketing, at least in the initial phase.
When asked how the company plans to gain mindshare in a market where the brand is not known outside the tech circles, he said Xiaomi may rethink its promotional strategy if the current one doesn’t work as intended.
Barra has reassured that the Mi 3 will get timely software updates at both the base level (Android) as well as MiUi updates for a reasonable time period.
One of the differentiating features of Xiaomi’s MiUi interface is themes. It is also a source of revenue for the company as it offers paid themes as well. However,the Themes store available in India will only feature free themes, for the time being, as Xiami is still in the process of integrating payment options.