Mobiles & Tablets

Xiaomi’s suspension could benefit Indian brands

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on November 27, 2017


For Indian companies, the Delhi High Court asking Xiaomi to stop the import and sale of handsets in India till February 5 comes as a blessing in disguise.

The Indian companies that compete with the Chinese major are Micromax, Lava Mobile and Karbonn.

“Xiaomi was doing excellent business in India. The price point and product range the company offers is similar to those of the home-grown firms, and for them this is an opportunity,” said Manasi Yadav, analyst at IHS Technology.

On Wednesday, taking up Swedish telecom-gear manufacturer Ericsson’s patent-infringement petition against Xiaomi, the Delhi High Court asked the Chinese company and its Indian e-commerce partner Flipkart to stop the import and sale of its devices. The ban is till February 5, when the High Court will next hear the case.

Commissioners appointed

The court has also appointed three commissioners to visit Xiaomi’s premises in Bengaluru to collect further evidence of alleged patent violations.

Since its launch in July this year, Xiaomi has sold more than 800,000 smartphones, garnering a little over 1 per cent marketshare in the highly-competitive Indian handset market. The Chinese company, which sells one phone model at a time, first came in with its Mi 3, priced at ₹13,999.

It then introduced the Redmi 1S for ₹5,999 and later the Redmi Note for ₹8,999.

Before the suspension, the Beijing-headquartered company was gearing up to launch the Redmi Note 4G, at ₹9,999, next Tuesday on Flipkart. “The issues that have been raised are to bring in a level-playing field among all the companies,” said Hemant Joshi, Partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells, adding that there could be some immediate market gains for Indian companies.

Xiaomi officials could not be immediately contacted for this story.

Ambitions on hold

For the Chinese handset manufacturer, which is the world’s third-largest smartphone distributor, India could be the second largest market after China. Will this cast a shadow on other Chinese vendors who have a presence in India? “I don’t think so. There is definitely a shadow on one vendor, but it’s just one vendor,” said IHS’s Yadav.

Published on December 11, 2014

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