Google to bring Pixel 4a smartphone to India in October
Tech giant Google on Monday said it will introduce its latest Pixel 4a smartphone in the Indian market in October this year.
The company will, however, not bring its new 5G-enabled Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a (5G) to India and Singapore markets.
In October last year, Google had skipped the launch of Pixel 4 and 4XL in India.
"Last year, Pixel 3a gave people a chance to get the helpful features of Pixel at a more affordable price. This year, Pixel 4a which launches in India in October will continue to bring features like the incredible camera and feature drops that make your phone better over time," Google said in a blogpost.
While pricing of the device will be announced closer to the launch, Google said it will be available at a "more affordable price".
Google said the two new 5G Pixel phones (Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5), coming this fall, will not be available in India or Singapore "based on a variety of factors including local market trends and product features".
"We remain deeply committed to our current Pixel phones and look forward to bringing future Pixel devices to these countries," it added.
In May last year, Google had introduced Pixel 3a and 3a XL in the country at Rs 39,999 onwards as part of its strategy to make available more affordable devices in its smartphone line up.
The Pixel 4 and 4XL introduced globally last year in October were priced $799 (about Rs 57,000) onwards.
Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 will be available in the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia with prices starting at $499.
The premium smartphone market (Rs 30,000 and above) in India, which is among the biggest smartphone markets globally, is witnessing strong growth and is dominated by players like OnePlus, Samsung, and Apple.
A number of Chinese companies like Vivo and Xiaomi are trying to make inroads into the premium segment that saw shipment of over one million devices in June 2020 quarter, as per Counterpoint Research.
While the segment saw over 32 percent decline in shipment in June 2020 quarter on account of COVID-19-related lockdown, it was one of the least affected segments and reached its highest-ever share in the overall India smartphone market, contributing more than 4 percent in total smartphone shipments.
Counterpoint Research Associate Director Tarun Pathak said Google's challenge with Pixel devices wasn't about the product, but channel outreach.
"So with Pixel 4a, if Google gets the channel strategy right, it has good chances of making Pixel 4a its most successful Pixel device in the Indian market, especially coming in amid the current scenario of anti-China sentiment," he added.
The Google 4a will feature a 5.8-inch display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G Mobile Platform, 6GB RAM, and 128 GB storage.
"With the same incredible camera experiences from Pixel 4 and a new re-designed hole punch design, Pixel 4a brings the same features that have helped millions of Pixel owners take great shots," Google said.