Xiaomi, Samsung, Vivo taking pre-orders online, but it does not make sense
The companies are stating that orders will be delivered once the lockdown lifts
Xiaomi is taking pre-orders in India while the national lockdown is still going on. A notice on the Mi.com site states that they are taking prepaid orders and will deliver once the lockdown is over. However, they aren't the only ones. Samsung and Vivo are doing the same on their online stores. Realme, though, has suspended its online operations until further notice. And as you would already know, Amazon and Flipkart are not taking orders for non-essential items at this point.
Mobile phones, power banks, headphones etc, all the gadgets that Xiaomi, Vivo or Samsung would hope to sell right now are not listed under essential items yet. The sale, and thus the delivery, of all non-essential items stand banned till the lockdown lifts.
"We are currently accepting only prepaid orders. Please expect orders to be delivered once lockdown lifts, subject to prevailing local restrictions," reads a banner on the Mi.com site.
As per the support page, Xiaomi says that the company reserves the right to cancel "any and all" pre-orders and customers will be informed if this happens. Xiaomi has also mentioned that all deliveries are "subject to state-level and local restrictions" along with the availability of "delivery partners".
The Vivo site mentions when you click to buy a device - Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, there will be a delay in the order delivery, but you can pre-book the device.
It seems that these companies are trying to make the best of the current situation by allowing pre-orders which they hope to deliver as soon as the lockdown lifts. Alternately, if the lockdown is to go on longer, they are still free to cancel orders.
Due to the lockdown, smartphone companies, and others, aren't able to make any sales through online and offline stores in the country. The government, however, recently eased operations for small local retailers so they can hope for some marginal respite.
India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) has warned that if the ban on selling mobile phones and spare parts is not lifted, there will be four crore Indians without a functional phone by the end of May. ICEA have requested the government to lift the ban the soonest.
While Xiaomi, Samsung and Vivo are open to pre-orders, Amazon and Flipkart are not taking any orders and focusing on essential items instead. However, they too have urged the government to let them deliver non-essentials as well.
Honestly, it does not make sense to pre-order any non-essential item right now since there has been no announcement about when the lockdown is expected to lift. Most online shopping sites are offering great discounts right now for pre-orders. but with the same adage - deliveries will be made when the lockdown lifts. If you are looking for a good deal, the time is right, but you might have to wait a long time for deliveries.