Google may make Pixel phones in India, but will they be ‘made for India’?

Big name smartphone manufacturers have been making smartphones in India in some form or the other. For instance, Samsung has made in India phones whereas Apple too is rumoured to be assembling the latest iPhone 14 series in India. Joining the fray soon could be Google if a report by The Information is to be believed.
According to the report, “Google has solicited bids from manufacturers in India to make between 500,000 and 1 million of the company’s Pixel smartphones”. The report says that if Google does make Pixel phones in India then a total of almost 10-20% of its annual production will be done in India.
The report also makes it clear that nothing has been “solidified” yet. However, the company has been facing a lot of delays in China — where most of its manufacturing is done — as Covid-19 lockdowns are still prevalent in the country. Google has been attempting to move the manufacturing of its Pixel phones away from China. Back in 2019, it was reported that the Pixel 5 series and Pixel 4a were being manufactured in Vietnam. However, with the Pixel 6 series, Google did move its manufacturing back to China.
Made for India Pixel phones?
When it comes to its premium Pixel phones, Google hasn’t made them available in India for almost three years now. Selling premium phones in India — which is an extremely price sensitive market — has been a tall order for many brands. Apple dominates the segment and there are multiple challengers from Samsung and OnePlus as well. For the last three years, Google has — for a variety of reasons — not launched the premium Pixel phones in India.
What Google brings to India is the toned-down version of Pixel phones which are in the A-series. Currently, Pixel phones aren’t grabbing enough market share in India and making them in the country could give Google an edge. Earlier this year, Google released its first smartphone — Pixel 6a — in the country in three years. It will be interesting to see if Google does make Pixel phones in India. And if it ends up doing that, will that mean the Indian buyers could finally get a chance to buy the premium Pixel phones?

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