The Xiaomi Redmi 1S is best known for being a revolutionary budget device. At a time when you could hardly get a decent phone for under $200, Xiaomi's Redmi (originally known as the Hongmi) came out with a formidable specs sheet that challenged phones more than twice its price. Soon, Xiaomi followed it up with the Redmi 1S, which is a more polished product, and comes with a Qualcomm processor, ditching the MediaTek MT6582 on the original Redmi.
After launching the phone in China in the first half of this year, the Redmi 1S was introduced in the Indian and later, in the Indonesian markets. The phone continues to be a sought-after device, even months after its launch. This is partly because of the very high value for money on offer, and partly because of Xiaomi's policy to maintain a demand that is, at all times, higher than supply. Although such sales figures and popularity are heartening, Xiaomi hadn't released the source code for the Redmi 1S kernel… until today.
In a post on the MIUI forums, Donovan from Xiaomi's Global Team broke the news, and provided the link to the GitHub page where the sources can be accessed by anyone. This is great news for users of the device, because public availability of a kernel source means that there'll be a lot more development on the community scene than what you're seeing currently. Native-built ROMs such as Paranoid Android, etc. that are generally popular among power Android users should soon see their way into Redmi 1S phones.
If you aren't aware, Xiaomi's phones run an already forked version of Android right of the box, known as MIUI (pronounced me-you-eye). Xiaomi often spend a lot of their resources on optimization of the ROM, and also provide weekly software updates if you're on the beta channel. This also brings new features, such as one-handed usage (Xiaomi Mi4), scheduled power on and off, etc. People often regard Xiaomi to be inspired by Apple, and an app drawer-less UI is only something that contributes to it, but users seem unfazed nonetheless.