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Coronavirus India lockdown: Smartphone launches delayed, tech stores closed

The coronavirus pandemic has forced Indian smartphone makers to halt new launches and sales. Here's what's happening.

Published onMarch 25, 2020

mid range phones 2

Last night at midnight, India started a 21-day coronavirus lockdown until April 14. People are not allowed to come out of their houses and everything except essential services has been shuttered.

Smartphone makers in India were also quick to react to the lockdown announcement. Many of them have delayed new launches, while some have halted sales of newly launched devices.

Xiaomi was the first to announce that it’ll be delaying the sale of the recently launched Redmi Note 9 Pro Max. The company’s Mi Home retail stores will also remain shut and it’ll stop all home deliveries during the lockdown period.

In light of the current situation, we are taking all the necessary steps to support to government in stopping the spread of #COVID19
Abiding by the lockdown rules, all our Mi Homes will be shut & we won’t be offering home delivery temporarily.
— Manu Kumar Jain (@manukumarjain) March 24, 2020

Xiaomi has also deferred the launch of  Mi 10 series in India. “After careful deliberation, we have taken the decision to postpone the launch of Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 10 in India, which was scheduled on March 31, 2020. We are evaluating the situation and will release a revised launch date soon,” the company told Android Authority in an emailed statement.

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Meanwhile, vivo and realme have postponed the launch of their new phones.

vivo was supposed to launch the V19 in India today. However, the company has reportedly (h/t Gadgets360) delayed the launch owing to the situation.

realme has also put off the launch of its new Narzo series of phones in addition to all other upcoming launches.

With respect to the announcement made by our Honourable Prime Minister yesterday, we have decided to suspend all upcoming launches including #realmeNarzo series.
Time for us to focus on our family & ourselves. Stay at home, stay safe & cooperate with local authorities.
— Madhav 5G (@MadhavSheth1) March 25, 2020

OnePlus has also responded to the lockdown by shutting down all its stores in India. The company has also put all online orders through its India website on hold till April 14. You can read OnePlus India’s announcement in the tweet embedded below.

— OnePlus India (@OnePlus_IN) March 25, 2020

Companies like Samsung, Apple, LG and Motorola have not yet responded to the lockdown announcement. However, they’re also expected to hold off any new device announcements in India until April 14.

Smartphone sales and production suspended

Large e-commerce portals like Amazon and Flipkart have also suspended sales in India. This means that Indian users looking to make any kind of tech purchases, including smartphones, will not be be able to do so through these online portals.

Also, none of the physical smartphone retail stores will be open during the lockdown period, hence we don’t expect people to buy new phones during this time. The government could make exceptions in the coming days, but for now, this is where we stand.

7 geeky things to do with your devices during the coronavirus lockdown

Smartphone production in India is also set to take a hit. Samsung, Apple, and Motorola have already suspended all smartphone production and assembly in India.

“Delaying device launches or supply is very much owing to the demand which has declined significantly in the wake of lockdown. Additionally, there is lack of clarity among services that need to be prioritized and subsequent movement across state borders,” Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research told wire service IANS.

The next few weeks will definitely be challenging for smartphone players in India. We’ll keep a close eye on how things shape up in the country and keep you informed of any more changes in smartphone launch plans.

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