The market has run out of smartphones ever since all the schools in the country started e-Learning on 27 March.
Managing Director of Tashi InfoComm Limited, Tashi Tshering, said the company imports smartphones from India.
“We bring in smartphones from India and because of the lock down in India the production has been stopped and the smart phones we had in the country has run out of stock. Even if the lock down opens and production starts, we will not be able to import because both the airlines in the country has stopped flying,” he said.
He said that the company has already placed an order but as soon as the money was transferred and work order was passed, the lockdown happened. He said that the company sold most numbers of smartphones in February and March. Many of the buyers were students.
“The company could sell more number of smartphones in March because of the e-Learning education. And on April, all the shelves were empty,” he said.
He added that if the lockdown and airline in the country lifts then the company will be able to start the business as usual.
“It will depend on how early the lockdown opens and the airlines in the country lifts stocks. We will be able to start our business early and there will be flow of smartphones in the market,” he added.
The owner of Sound Mobile shop based in Thimphu said that all the smartphones have been sold out and there is no stock at the moment. She said that most of the buyers were students who needed the smartphones to study online.
“Due to the lock down and closure of the border, we cannot bring in the smartphones. All the stocks have been cleared. Without the smartphones, there is no business at the moment. We hardly get around Nu 3,000 a day selling other electronic gadgets,” she said.
The owner of Mobile Hospital said that because of the lock down in India, he is unable to import the smartphones as it has to be routed through India.
“The stock has been sold to the students. As soon as the schools started e-Learning, it was a blessing in disguise for us. However, at the moment we cannot import and there is no business. The mobile shops are solely dependent on the sale of other electronic gadgets,” he said.
On April 29 the SSB stopped a Bhutanese truck carrying 29 smart phones worth Nu 417,479 along with some grocery items as the truck did not have the permit to carry the phones.