Smartphones, laptops, TVs, and other electronic devices’ sales can resume from April 20th in India. Per the new government directive, the devices can be sold online via e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon and Flipkart. However, their delivery vans will need permission from authorities for plying on the roads. Ever since the country-wide lockdown was announced, the platforms have been delivering only essential goods, such as food, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. The restrictions are now being relaxed in the extended lockdown period, which ends on May 3rd, for a few sectors.
As reported previously, e-commerce deliveries, IT services, construction of roads and buildings in rural areas, and inter-state goods transport will resume in some areas from April 21st. Of course, the hotspots with a high number of coronavirus cases will continue to remain under intense lockdown.
The new guidelines for the online sales of smartphones, laptops, and TVs etc were issued on Wednesday, with no classifications of essential and non-essential items. A senior home ministry official, cited by Press Trust of India (PTI), clarified that electronic items will be available on the e-commerce platforms from April 20th. The guidelines also say: “All facilities in the supply chain of essential goods, whether involved in manufacturing, wholesale or retail of such goods through local stores, large brick and mortar stores or e-commerce companies should be allowed to operate, ensuring strict social distancing without any restriction on their timing of opening and closure.”
“The move is being viewed as an attempt by the government to revive the industrial and commercial activities which have been stalled due to the lockdown since March 25th. A large number of people are engaged in the logistics and delivery works of such e-commerce platforms,” added the PTI report.
With smartphone sales officially allowed, Realme has become the first brand to announce a smartphone launch. It will take the curtains off its highly anticipated Narzo series in India on April 21st, a launch that was rescheduled due to the coronavirus lockdown. We can expect the likes of Vivo and Xiaomi to hold launch events for their V19 and Mi 10 smartphones as well — both the events were scheduled for March but cancelled due the coronavirus-induced lockdown. OnePlus and Apple can also be expected to launch their OnePlus 8 series and iPhone SE 2020, respectively, in India soon. Moto Razr 2019’s India sales should also begin in late April or early May consider its release was delayed due to the nation-wide lockdown.