Update: The ban was lifted on Christmas Day. More details here — our original story continues below.
The Chinese company confirmed to TechCrunch that it will no longer sell its One smartphone in the country after a New Delhi court upheld a complaint by rival Micromax. The issue centers around OnePlus’s use of the Cyanogen Android operating system, which powers the One in all countries aside from China.
Micromax last month announced an exclusive distribution deal with Cyanogen in India for Yu, its new Android range which goes on sale tomorrow — thus it is objecting to the sale of the Cyanogen-powered One in India.
Medianama reports that OnePlus will be allowed to sell its existing stock in India, but thereafter it can only sell compliant devices.
OnePlus learnt of the Cyanogen-Micromax deal less than a week before it launched its own phones in India, and, in response, co-founder Carl Pei revealed that the company is working on its own version of Android to replace Cyanogen.
This replacement software is expected to be rolled out for OnePlus devices worldwide at some point next year, but this court case in India just expedited the urgency of its development.
India’s smartphone market may be far smaller than the U.S. and China, but it is rapidly developing into an important market — particularly for mid-range devices like those sold by Xiaomi and OnePlus.
A recent IDC report found that smartphone shipments in the country jumped 82 percent year-on-year to account for 23 million units in Q3 2014. There’s plenty of room for future growth too, since feature phones continue to account for more than 60 percent of all shipments.
Here’s OnePlus’ statement in full. We contacted Micromax for comment, but had not heard back at the time of writing:
In accordance with a judgement passed by the Delhi High Court, we will no longer be producing the OnePlus One with CyanogenMod to be sold in India.
We are still fully committed to serving our users in the region and, in light of this decision, are working to find a solution that will allow us to continue operations as soon as possible.
We regret the inconvenience this causes to OnePlus fans in India who have patiently waited for the opportunity to purchase the One.