The price wars are about to begin, with two new models entering the Indian smartphone market today. The handsets in question are the Xiaomi Redmi Note and the OnePlus One. Xiaomi is already well known for its aggressive pricing and online exclusive flash sales while OnePlus is a newcomer to the game.
Imports data exclusively obtained by PriceBaba shows a lot of OnePlus One and Redmi Note recently imported in India. The OnePlus One is going on sale exclusively with Amazon, however their launch plans are a bit hampered with Cyanogen showing exclusive support for Micromax in India. Micromax has a deal with CyanogenMod to keep the OS exclusive to their Yu lineup of smartphones. As a result, the OnePlus One will not receive official updates in India. The OnePlus devices going on sale in India won’t have the CyanogenMod branding.
The OnePlus One runs on CyanogenMod 11S, an OS exclusive to the One. The phone has a huge fan following around the world because of weekly software updates called “nightlies”. Without the official updates it makes the phone dead on arrival. Geeks who know what this phone of capable of doing will argue that you can root and flash CyanogenMod updates. Yes, it can be done but that isn’t the right way to update a phone.
As for the Xiaomi Redmi Note which is going on sale exclusively with Flipkart today, it seems there is ~1.5 Lakh units in stock, most of them available are 8GB models in White. Surprisingly the import cost of these Xiaomi phones is coming to Rs 8,869, and it would go on sale for Rs 8,999. The import price is exclusive of import duty and taxes. We are not sure if the device spotted is the 3G version or the 4G version of the Note, but knowing that the 3G is the only model on sale currently we are assuming that it is the same. Earlier the Redmi Note (3G) was priced at Rs. 9,999 on Flipkart but Xiaomi tweaked it by selling the Redmi Note 4G model instead for this price. The price difference between the import price and the selling price is a meagre 130 rupees. Perhaps Xiaomi and Flipkart have a different arrangement for margins?
The OnePlus One on the other hand is imported at Rs 19,949 and will go on sale for a price of Rs 21,999. The devices on sales in India will be the 64GB Sandstone Black models. Without the official support of Cyanogen Mod the future of this handset in India seems bleak, at least till OnePlus launches their own custom Android OS.