The Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed e-commerce platforms to sell non-essential items in orange and red zones during the Lockdown 3.0.
Representative Image: Redmi Note 9 Pro
- The government has allowed e-commerce platforms to sell non-essential items.
- Non-essential items can only be delivered in orange and green zones.
- You can buy phones and laptops from online marketplaces.
The Indian government has once again extended the lockdown amid the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country but this time, there’s some good news for tech consumers. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has allowed e-commerce platforms to start selling non-essential items during the third lockdown, which means we could be able to shop for new smartphones, laptops and other electronic items. However, conditions apply in this case.
According to the MHA guidelines, the sale of non-essential items via e-commerce platforms will only be allowed in those areas where the COVID-19 cases are non-existent or sparse. The government states that e-commerce platforms will be able to deliver non-essential items only in those areas that have been marked under orange and green zones. For red zones, the restrictions still apply, which means if you are in Delhi under a red zone, you won’t benefit from anything.
That said, the MHA says that postal and courier services will be active in all areas.
With the delivery of non-essential items allowed, it would benefit those who had been wanting to shop for a new phone or a laptop. Earlier in April, the government allowed delivery of essential items via e-commerce platforms but non-essential items were still banned. Hence, Amazon and Flipkart stopped sales of smartphones and laptops.
As the restrictions 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 halting the sale due to the lockdown. Apple too announced the iPhone SE for the Indian market, starting at a price of Rs 42,990.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi is expected 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 announce its flagship Edge+ for India and put the Razr folding phone on sale finally.
Do note that the new regulations for the third lockdown period only allows buying non-essential items from online platforms. The government hasn’t clarified whether brick-and-mortar stores could start selling phones as well as laptops in the green zones.