Xiaomi since its inception in India has had a dream run so far. Starting with the Xiaomi Mi3, they company started a smartphone pricing war along with the online exclusive game in India. It was followed by the Redmi 1s which is the most sold smartphone by Xiaomi in India so far. The latest in the market is the Redmi Note which has sold 1,25,000 units so far on December 2 and December 9. There has been a blow in the form of a Delhi High court order but trust us, it is temporary.
The story broke out yesterday evening, all over Facebook and Twitter, that Xiaomi has been banned from importing smartphones and selling them in India following an order from the Delhi High Court. The ban took place as Ericsson’s standard essential patents (SEP) was infringed by Xiaomi’s smartphones and Ericsson decided to approach the court.
So Xiaomi fans have been thinking, “Should we cancel our Redmi Note orders?”, “Will we get Customer support for our Xiaomi smartphones in India which we have purchased over the past few months?”. Well, do not worry folks. Xiaomi is here to stay and isn’t going anywhere any soon. India is the biggest market for them outside China and it is just going to get bigger and better. Xiaomi just needs to cut a deal with Ericsson and they are already on it. We are expecting this issue to be sorted out in the next few days and the next flash sale of the Redmi Note on December 16 should take place without any fuss.
Let’s go through Ericsson’s statement on the issue.
Ericsson’s commitment to the global support of technology and innovation is undisputed. It is unfair for Xiaomi to benefit from our substantial R&D investment without paying a reasonable licensee fee for our technology.
After more than 3 years of attempts to engage in a licensing conversation in good faith, for products complaint with the GSM, EDGE, and UMTS/WCDMA standards Xiaomi continues to refuse to respond in any way regarding a fair license to Ericsson’s intellectual property on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Ericsson, as a last resort, had to take legal action.
To continue investing in research and enabling the development of new ideas, new standards and new platforms to the industry, we must obtain a fair return on our R&D investments. We look forward to working with Xiaomi to reach a mutually fair and reasonable conclusion, just as we do with all of our licensees.
This statement reveals Ericsson’s motive of churning money out of Xiaomi’s profits. They have been looking to engage with Xiaomi for the last 3 years without any result, but as soon the Chinese company has entered India and grown tremendously, Ericsson had to take the legal plunge. We would say it is fair on Ericsson’s part as well, as licensing patents is a standard procedure throughout the global mobile industry. Even Micromax had to agree on a licensing fee with Ericsson few months back.
On this issue, Manu Kumar Jain, Head of Xiaomi India, said
We haven’t received an official note from the Delhi High Court. However, our legal team is currently evaluating the situation based on the information we have.
India is a very important market for Xiaomi and we will respond promptly as needed and in full compliance with Indian laws. Moreover, we are open to working with Ericsson to resolve this matter amicably.
So Xiaomi fans in India, there is just nothing to worry about. The company is here to stay in India and will serve you over the coming years. They just need to bury the hatchet with Ericsson and agree on a licensing fee with them.