Xiaomi is definitely a name worth remembering. The Chinese manufacturer jumped to number three in global smartphone shipments in 3Q14, meaning it shifted more units than anyone other than Apple or Samsung.
As such, Xiaomi being forced to leave a major territory like India is a pretty big deal. Pourquoi? Patents; they’re back.
Brazilian Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s Vice President of International, broke the news on Facebook, in an open letter to 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,” writes Barra.
“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.”
That’s about all the information we’re getting from Xiaomi, however India’s The Economic Times sheds a little more light in Delhi HC directs Xiaomi to stop import, sale of phones over patent case by Ericsson.
Essentially, Swedish equipment maker Ericsson asserts that Xiaomi infringes upon no less than eight of its registered standard essential patents. Ultimately, Xiaomi has been ordered to stop importing and selling devices in India until February, when the case will come to court.
Xiaomi landed in India in July this year, quickly selling 800,000 smartphones to capture 1% of the Indian smartphone market.
Ericsson alleges that license “proposals” were made to Xiaomi prior to its arrival, however the Chinese manufacturer opted to “bypass” the proposals and enter the Indian market regardless.
Indeed, Ericsson says it had been in discussions with Xiaomi for over three years. That being the case, we doubt India's High Court will have much sympathy.
More on Xiaomi’s expulsion from India as and when.