Redmi 6: Why Xiaomi launched a MediaTek phone in India after 4 years
Redmi 6 and Redmi 6A are the first phones from Xiaomi in the last four years to run on MediaTek processors.
Xiaomi on Wednesday announced the launch of Redmi 6-series of phones in India. Two out of the three phones, Redmi 6 and Redmi 6A, are powered by MediaTek processors - first non Qualcomm-based phones in India from Xiaomi in the last four years.
It may be recalled that a lawsuit between Ericsson and Xiaomi prevented the Chinese handset company from launching non-Qualcomm phones in India. Back in 2014, Ericsson had accused Xiaomi of infringing upon its standard essential patents (SEP) and moved the court to seek a ban on its phones in India. Xiaomi was forced to temporarily halt sales of its phones. Later, Xiaomi sold only Qualcomm-based devices in India.
Ericsson on Wednesday said that it hadn't resolved differences with Xiaomi but the latter has been allowed by court to sell MediaTek phones in India.
"Ericsson and Xiaomi have not resolved their differences regarding licensing of Ericsson's standard essential patents. As per the interim court order, Xiaomi can sell MediaTek based phones in India, but have to pay an interim royalty for those sales pending resolution of the case," said Ericsson in a statement.
Xiaomi, however, said that the lawsuit with Ericsson has been settled.
"This is Xiaomi's first product in India after some time Mediatek processors. The lawsuit with Ericson has been settled and now Xiaomi is allowed to import MTK chipsets in India. The Helio A22 and P22 are performance obsessed SoCs and match the requirement which a Redmi user has. Infact, MTK has specially designed the A22 for Xiaomi only, keeping in mind the requirement of a performance hungry Redmi user," said a Xiaomi spokesperson.
MediaTek India Director-Corporate Sales Kuldeep Malik said, "We have been working with Xiaomi since 2012, and will continue to support the brand with innovative technology. The recent launches of Xiaomi devices in India reiterates the strength of our partnership with the brand. With respect to the lawsuit, it is now history."
The development comes months after Mediatek Chief Financial Officer David Ku told The Mobile Indian that Xiaomi was now allowed to launch non-Qualcomm phones in India.
"The lawsuit filed against Xiaomi by Erricson is a history and now the things have settled down. Xioami is now free to use our chipsets," he is quoted saying. "Xiaomi will launch a smartphone based on our chipset in India pretty soon."
Why Ericsson sued Xiaomi
Network giant Ericsson had alleged that Xiaomi had infringed upon its Standard Essential Patent (SEP) which is said to be the core technology essential for communication devices. Phones use networks like GSM, GPRS, EDGE and WCDMA radio technologies which have been patented by Ericsson. The company alleged that Xiaomi had failed to respond to its communications. Ericsson had filed similar lawsuits against Gionee, Intex and Micromax.
Xiaomi vs Ericsson patent battle: A timeline
December 11, 2014: Delhi High Court passes an interim injection that barred Xiaomi from importing, selling or advertising its devices in India. The court later asked Xiaomi and Flipkart to stop selling phones in India until February 5, 2015.
December 12, 2014: Xiaomi confirms it had suspended sales of its phones in India.
Xiaomi's then VP Hugo Barra in a Facebook post said, "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."
"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."
February, 2015: Xiaomi is allowed by the Delhi High Court to sell handsets running on Qualcomm-based phones. Ericsson claims Xiaomi was selling its MediaTek phones through unofficial websites. Xiaomi, however, turned down the allegations.
March 2015: Xiaomi begins effort to expand its patent portfolio. The company said it would be filing for over 2,000 patents.
June, 2015: Delhi court allows Xiaomi to send back its unsold Redmi Note 3G handsets to China.
December 2015: Xiaomi ties up with MediaTek for patent licenses. The agreement covered Qualcomm's licenses for 3G and 4G radios.
May, 2016: The interim injunction on Xiaomi is revoked after the court observed that Ericsson had concealed some information.
June, 2018: As Xiaomi gains momentum in India with its Redmi Note 4 and Redmi Note 5 phones, first reports of the company launching MediaTek phones surface online.
September, 2018: Xiaomi launches Redmi 6 and Redmi 6A phones with MediaTek processors in India.