The Indian government has once repeatedly increased the lockdown amid the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country, but this time, there’s some great news for tech consumers.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has conceded e-commerce platforms to begin trading non-essential items during the third lockdown, which suggests we could be capable to shop for new smartphones, laptops, and other electronic items. However, conditions apply in this situation.
According to the MHA guidelines, the sale of non-essential things via e-commerce platforms will only be permitted in those areas where the COVID-19 cases are non-existent or rare.
The government states that e-commerce platforms will be ready to deliver non-essential items only in those areas that have been marked under orange and green zones. For red zones, the limitations still apply, which means if you are in Delhi under a red zone, you won’t profit from anything.
That stated, the MHA says that postal and courier services will be active in all areas.
With the delivery of non-essential items provided, it would benefit those who had been needing to shop for a new phone or a laptop. Earlier in April, the government approved the delivery of essential items via e-commerce platforms, but non-essential items were still forbidden. Hence, Amazon and Flipkart stopped sales of smartphones and laptops.
As the constraints ease in select areas, we could soon see smartphone companies launching new phones. OnePlus announced its OnePlus 8 series phones for the Indian market a few weeks ago, giving out the prices as well but stopping the sale due to the lockdown. Apple, too announced the iPhone SE for the Indian market, beginning for Rs 42,990.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi is supposed to announce its Mi 10 series in India along with the Redmi K30 Pro flagship. Xiaomi is also rumoured to come up with the RedmiBook series of laptops. Realme could soon launch its Narzo series of smartphones as well. Motorola may advertise its flagship Edge+ for India and put the Razr folding phone on sale eventually.
Do note that the new guidance for the third lockdown period only provides buying non-essential items from online platforms. The government hasn’t explained whether brick-and-mortar stores could start selling phones as well as laptops in the green zones.