Pixel Goes Desi: Google Embraces 'Make in India' with Pixel Production
Google's ambitious move to locally manufacture Pixel 8 aligns with India's 'Make in India' campaign, setting the stage for a tech showdown in the booming premium smartphone segment.
Google is looking to make a strong mark in India's smartphone market with a major announcement: the local manufacturing of its Pixel smartphones.
Pixel Goes Desi
Google's Pixel 8, released earlier this month, will be the company's first "Made-in-India" smartphone. The company is aiming for a 2024 launch of these locally made phones. Rick Osterloh, a senior figure at Google, praised India's robust manufacturing ecosystem, which is ideal for businesses to thrive.
Collaboration at its Best
Google's strategy involves partnering with local and global manufacturers. This aligns with India's "Make in India" campaign, which seeks to make the nation a manufacturing hotspot.
A New Marketing Mantra
With a growing premium smartphone market in India, Google's Pixel seems to be a perfect fit. An event featuring Bollywood star Anil Kapoor and the Pixel 8 series showcased Google's commitment to the Indian audience. Osterloh highlighted Google's goal to make the Pixel a household name in India.
For years, Google's Pixel had its ups and downs in the Indian market. But this move towards local production might be the push Google needs.
Choosing Premium over Mid-Range
Many were surprised that Google chose to start its Indian manufacturing with the high-end Pixel 8 series instead of a mid-range phone. Osterloh believes that the success of their A-series globally influenced this decision.
A Premium Play
Research data indicates a rise in premium smartphone sales, making up 17% of shipments in Q2 2023. Big players like Apple and Samsung are already capitalising on this segment, and now Google wants a piece of the pie. With India's rapid ascent in the premium market rankings, Google sees a golden opportunity.
Apple, a competitor, has also been boosting its local efforts in India, aiming for the same young and aspirational audience. The rise of the premium smartphone market in India and its quick jump in global rankings underlines its immense potential.
Pixel's Journey & Future in India
Since Osterloh joined Google in 2016, Pixel has grown notably. While earlier Pixel models received good feedback, it was the camera of Pixel 3 that made a big splash in the market. Today, Google promotes its Pixels as cutting-edge AI mobile devices.
As the Indian market evolves, experts like Neil Shah from Counterpoint Research believe Google's move is smart. Starting with Pixel 8 could allow Google to offer competitive pricing by saving on import duties.