It is no secret that India has gone on to become one of the more important markets for US-based tech giant, Google. From software to hardware, Google has been slowly but surely looking to increase its foothold in the country. After announcing Android Go – an iteration of its popular Android mobile operating system meant to streamline performance on low-end budget phones – Google is set to expand its line-up of smart devices to win a bigger chunk of the Indian market.
While the Alphabet-owned company introduced second-generation Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones in a span of few months, it still shied away from bringing to the market its line-up of smart speakers. However, that is expected to change with the latter expected to be unveiled in India on April 10, 2018.
Reports suggest that its smart speakers will be priced at Rs 9,999 and Rs 4,499. With this move, Google will go head to head with Amazon which has already taken a lead on it with its existing Amazon Echo devices, which are priced at Rs 4,499 (Echo Dot), Rs 9,999 (Echo) and Rs 14,999 (Echo Plus) in India.
Mid-range Pixel phone and more
But if this ET Tech report is to be believed, it won't just stop there. The company is working on bringing a mid-range Pixel smartphone for "price sensitive" Indian market and plans to release it in July or August. This, however, is not the first that we are hearing of the mid-range Pixel device.
Earlier last year, there were rumours of the same with 9to5Mac reporting that Google was internally testing a “few” prototypes of a device they referred to as “Pixel 2B”, which would purportedly be released either “alongside or shortly after Pixel 2”.
The report claimed that the device “aimed at different markets,” would be announced at a lower price point and slightly slower hardware in comparison to the flagship pixels. And barely 6 months after the flagship line-up's launch, the mid-range devices could finally become reality.
However, the lower-priced Google Pixel is only one of the ways in which the company is looking to expand its presence in India and bring the “Google experience to emerging markets". As the ET Tech report adds, the company is also looking to expand into distribution into general trade and spending big on marketing like Apple and Samsung have been doing in India.
As per the report, Google’s top brass shared details of its consumer products expansion plans in trade meets held in Malaysia, the UK and the US last month. Select Indian retailers took part in some of the meets.
“Google is excited about the expansion of the consumer products business in India with the advent of the cheap 4G internet led by Reliance Jio and other operators which it says will help to realise maximum potential of these products,” said a leading retailer who had participated in the meet."
The publication also claims that apart from the cheaper Pixel phones, Google is also looking to bring its Nest brand to the country, along with Google Wi-Fi and the Pixelbook.
The PixelBook is Google's thinnest and lightest laptop yet and has rotatable hinges to spin it around 360 degrees. it is a laptop hybrid and unlike the Chromebooks, the PixelBooks are expensive devices that in the US start at $1,000, putting it in direct competition with other other laptop-tablet hybrids like Microsoft’s Surface Pro and the iPad Pro.