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COVID-19 Lockdown: Flipkart Opens Mobiles Category for Orders, Delivery After April 20

Flipkart Private Limited, Flipkart is an Indian e-commerce company based in Bengaluru, India. It was founded by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal in 2007. The company initially focused on book sales, before expanding into other product categories such as consumer electronics, fashion, home essentials & groceries, and lifestyle products. The service competes primarily with Amazon's Indian subsidiary, and the domestic rival Snapdeal. As of March 2017, Flipkart held a 39.5% market share of India's e-commerce industry. Flipkart is significantly dominant in the sale of apparel (a position that was bolstered by its acquisitions of Myntra and Jabong), and was described as being "neck and neck" with Amazon in the sale of electronics and mobile phones. Flipkart also owns PhonePe, a mobile payments service based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

Flipkart has restarted smartphone selling in India. E-commerce giants had been limited to selling only essential goods after PM Modi announced a nationwide lockdown from March 25. However, the Indian government recently approved selling of smartphones online in India, and Flipkart has opened its mobiles category for orders. The company says that the mobiles category is open across India, except for West Bengal and Karnataka. Flipkart's mobile category lists phones like Realme 6, Realme 6 Pro, Motorola Razr, Poco X2, iQoo 3, and many more.

The e-commerce platform has a new banner on its app confirming that they are now accepting smartphone orders. Even though a user can now purchase smartphones, delivery will only begin from April 20, as per the government directives. Flipkart is offering complete mobile protection, no-cost EMI, and buyback guarantee to buyers on its platform. Phones from Oppo, Vivo, Samsung, Apple, and Xiaomi are listed online. Both the Flipkart app and the website now have the mobiles category open for purchase.

Flipkart says that users in all states should be able to see the mobiles category, apart from West Bengal and Karnataka, where the service hasn't resumed yet. At the time of writing, Amazon hadn't opened its smartphone category for ordering.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla recently issued revised guidelines for the extended lockdown period till May 3. These guidelines suggest that mobile phones, televisions, refrigerators, laptops, and stationary items will be allowed to be sold through e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal from April 20. The delivery vans of e-commerce companies will need permission from authorities for plying on the roads beforehand.


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