While the global tech media on Thursday extensively covered Samsung’s announcement of its new set of premium phablets, Chinese vendor Xiaomi also announced a mid-range smartphone which is just as important to its fortune over the rest of the year. Dubbed the Redmi Note 2, the device will come in three variants with minor differences between them, but all three come with impressive hardware and rock-bottom pricing, at least in China. While Xiaomi fans in India have been rubbing their hands in glee in expectations of the smartphone’s launch in the country, looks like Xiaomi might face a roadblock in its efforts to launch the device in its second biggest market – India.
While Xiaomi’s expansion into India has gained it handsome dividends and inspired a number of other Chinese vendors and OEMs to follow suit over the past year, the company itself has been the subject of a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Ericsson. While the Delhi High Court had originally barred the Chinese company from selling its smartphones in India, subsequent developments saw the ban being partially lifted to allow the company to offer its Qualcomm Snapdragon-based models for sale in the country. Curiously, the ban on Xiaomi’s MediaTek and Leadcore-based phones still remain in place.
Therein lies the problem for Xiaomi. All the three variants of the second generation Redmi Note are powered by the MediaTek Helio X10 chipset, which means, the devices are still technically barred from being sold in the country. Unless something happens – and soon, Xiaomi will have its hands forced to forego this generation of Redmi Notes in India. Of course, there are rumors doing the rounds that the company is working on a version of the smartphone based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 chipset. While Xiaomi is yet to confirm a Snapdragon-powered variant of the phone is in the works, if it does eventually materialize, the current unseemly situation might be mitigated, and Xiaomi might be able to continue on with its success story in India. That will also mean the company’s growing fan-base in the country will have a chance to get their hands on what has to be the most well-specced and well build device in the price segment anywhere, if initial reviews are anything to go by.