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Smartphone launches delayed, stores closed

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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.

Xiaomi is also on track to launch the Mi 10 series in India on March 31. However, we’re not sure if it’ll continue with its plans now that the whole country is under lockdown.

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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.

Companies like Samsung, Apple, and OnePlus 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.

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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