Back in July 2014, when the market was seeing tough competition in the entry level smartphone segment with the likes of the Motorola Moto E & Moto G, Xiaomi spruced things up a little with the launch of its Redmi 1S smartphone.
Featuring a 4.7-inch HD display (1280 x 720px resolution) and a 1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor under the hood, this piece of technology from the Chinese handset maker offered was (and still continues to be) a lucrative deal at just Rs. 6000 ($95 USD), especially when you consider the fact that the phone hasn’t made any unusual compromises anywhere in the hardware department.
Needless to say, the phone has sold like hot cakes ever since, with batch after batch selling out in a matter of seconds in flash sales across Asia.
But success didn’t come without its usual hiccups. The company, despite its huge involvement in the MIUI side of things, wasn’t perceived as developer-friendly due to the closed-source nature of its devices. Many modders and custom firmware enthusiasts were reluctant to give the device a try, since the absence of kernel sources left them with no choice but to use Xiaomi’s own MIUI skin instead of another ROM of their choice.
Fortunately, today Xiaomi has taken a big step in establishing goodwill among developers by releasing kernel sources for the Redmi 1S smartphone! That’s not all, as per Jai Mani (Product Team, Mi India) other Xiaomi offerings like the Mi 3, Redmi Note and Redmi Note 4G will follow suit soon enough – with all of their kernel sources being released in the first quarter of 2015.
What’s more, the company has also promised to release the source code for all future smartphone devices within three months of them going on sale in India.
Today we released the kernel source for the Redmi 1S. We are going to release the kernel source for the Mi 3 in Q1 2015 as we’ve previously announced. We plan to release the kernel source for the Redmi Note and Redmi Note 4g early next year.
Additionally, we promise to release the kernel source for future phones within three months of that device going on sale in India
For a company, which until now was notorious for its closed source nature, this is certainly a huge step forward. We hope that Xiaomi stays true to their word, and that other companies (Micromax, I look at you) follow their lead!