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Hometechnologygadgets'Made in India' Pixel 8 phones to hit stores in 2024

'Made in India' Pixel 8 phones to hit stores in 2024

At the Google for India event on Thursday (October 19), the search engine giant announced to locally manufacture the latest Pixel 8 phones.

The Americal tech major revealed that it will initially start with the regular Pixel 8 variant. If all things go as planned, ‘Made in India’ Pixel 8 will hit stores in India in early 2024.

Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President, Devices & Services, Google

Google’s new announcement is latest instance of company’s ever-growing focus on India, world’s most populous country.

A couple of years ago, Google pledged $10 billion (around Rs 75,000 crore) India Digitisation Fund, which also included investment in Reliance Jio and Airtel to improve cellular and internet connectivity in India.

Also, Google regularly host mentorship programme for promising startups in India.

And, earlier in the month, Google’s partner HP began assembling Chromebooks at a factory unit near Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Not just Google, Apple, Samsung, and other Chinese companies have either own or sign contracts with supply partners to setup local assembling units. They are making good use of Indian government’s Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme and pass on the benefits to the customers with reduced price on the products.

“India local manufacturing has scaled multifold in the past years, as per PMP. We have come a long way in sourcing components locally and value addition especially in mobile phone domain. Having said this, 95 per cent plus devices are currently made in India, which emphasis the importance of local production. The recent announcements on Google announcement, showcases the importance of the Indian smartphone market (second largest globally after China) and benefits of local production. The direct benefit of this move would be saving of import duty cost levied on CBU, and garnering more volumes in a price conscious India market. Hence better prices expected from Google,” said Upasana Joshi, Research Manager, Client Devices at International Data Corporation (India).

But, Google compared to Apple and Samsung, has a long way to go in getting a lion share in the highly competitive market in India.

Though Google’s Pixel phones are shipping in record numbers worldwide particularly in the US and Japan, it has barely a per cent marketshare in the subcontinent compared to Samsung, Vivo, Xiaomi, OnePlus and Apple.

“Now, local manufacturing of Pixel phones shows Google is getting serious about the Indian market, all of us have been witnessing and where of the opinion that Google was not that aggressive and serious. Somewhere it was always shying away from the market. Deciding to make phones in India, obviously means it is increasing its stakes in the country. It also means that Google is now getting some confidence in faith about the market. I expect the volumes to grow in coming times,” Faisal Kawoosa, founder, Founder Techarc, a Technology Analytics, Research & Consulting company said to DH.

The Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro prices start at 75,999 and Rs 1,06,999, respectively. They are expensive compared to US and other markets due to high foreign exchange rates and import duties, as they are made in China.

This is expected to change for good once Google begins to assemble locally here in India.

“Right now, it’s all completely built units and attracts high tax. If devices are assembled locally, there won’t come with any import duty tax and, the benefits will be passed on to the consumers. However, the key message for me is that, it’s increasing commitment in the country and getting serious about the business over here,” Kawoosa noted.

Sundar Pichai, CEO, Alphabet Inc ( & Google)[object Object][object Object]

Google Pixel 8 series.

Google India

“Investment in marketing, distribution, service support etc will be required. A healthy mix of channel play to ensure long term sustainability for Google Pixel phones,” Joshi (IDC India) added.

In India, Google in partnership with F1 Info Solutions has set up 28 service centers in 27 cities across India, and plans to expand the coverage to more locations and cities in the near future.

Get the latest news on new launches, gadget reviews, apps, cybersecurity, and more on personal technology only on DH Tech.

(Published 19 October 2023, 11:37 IST)

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