- Google has developed special tailor-made mid-range Pixel phone for the price-sensitive Indian market
- Google is set to release Home smart speakers to take on Amazon's Echo series
Search engine giant Google is reportedly chalking out an India-focused strategy to tap the lucrative smartphone market and also the emerging IoT (Internet-of-Things) market.
It's been more than two years since Google fully forayed into the global smartphone business with the launch of Pixel series, but it has failed to find traction in India, the fastest growing and the second biggest market for the smartphones in the world.
One obvious reason is that the Pixel phones are way too expensive for a price-sensitive region like India. Also, the flagship smartphone is not available in brick-and-mortar stores that double up as experience zones as consumers get to feel the device first hand before buying it.
Now, Google, in a bid to break into the highly competitive mid-range phone segment, is reportedly planning to come up with a special 'Made for India' low-cost Pixel series around July-August. The company has also set aside huge funds for brand promotions of the upcoming phone, The Economic Times reported citing an unnamed executive.
Google, in its study on Pixel phones' sales in India, found that there was very little difference in margin in terms of units sold between online and offline channels. Hence, the company has devised a plan to expand the distribution network in the country.
Rivals like Xiaomi, Samsung, and Motorola have already partnered with several multi-branded retail chains across India. Emerging brand OnePlus is planning to expand its experience stores to 10 cities before the end of 2018.
Mountain View-headquartered company recently held a closed-door meeting with several leading retail chain managers to increase the Google product availability in wider geography beyond metros in India and in the process, build brand awareness among consumers by setting up in-store signage and exclusive zones, similar to Moto Hubs in Poorvika stores, BigC and Lot Mobiles stores in south India.
Before the mid-range Pixel phone, Google is set to bring the company's flagship Google Assistant-powered Home smart speaker series — a standard Home and a Home Mini — in India as early this month with prices ranging between Rs 4,999 and Rs 9,999. It will be taking on the Amazon's Echo [review] series.
[Note: Amazon Echo comes in three variants—a generic Echo for Rs 9,999, a low-end Echo Dot for Rs 4,999) and the high-end Echo Plus for Rs 14,999]
Furthermore, Google has plans to bring the company's premium laptop Pixelbook and also subsidiary Nest-branded home security system including smart cameras, intruder alarms, doorbells and more, but they will come around late 2018 or early 2019.
International Business Times India Edition contacted Google's media representative via email for a response on Home smart speaker and mid-range Pixel phones launch in India but she refused to divulge any details at the moment.
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