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Rumor: Google planning "mid-range Pixel" as part of India hardware push
Readers in the US, UK and the rest of Europe are generally accustomed to having Google hardware in their markets. But developing markets such as India, Nigeria and South Africa often have to fight for the scraps.
However, Indian customers could be set for a treat this year, as a new report claims that the Mountain View company will launch a proper portfolio of hardware in the country. And this portfolio could include a “mid-range Pixel”.
According to the Economic Times, citing “four senior industry executives”, Google will launch its Home family of smart speakers, the Pixelbook laptop and Nest smart home gadgets in India.
However, one intriguing claim is that the tech firm is working on a mid-range smartphone “especially for markets such as India”. The report asserts that this “mid-range Pixel smartphone” is set to launch in July or August.
As for the Google Home family, the executives tell Economic Times that the smart speakers are planned to launch at the end of the month. Google is seemingly taking on Amazon’s Echo family in the market, price-matching the e-retailer’s speakers (Rs. 4,499 for the Mini and Rs. 9,999 for the standard Home).
The report adds that Google will be focused on improving its presence at physical retailers.
“Their hardware distributor Redington will expand brick-and-mortar distribution reach,” a source was quoted as saying. “Google will also do in-store branding and signage in selected stores, and set up exclusive zones with specially designed fixtures like Apple.”
Potentially lending credence to the report is the fact that Google is holding an event in India on April 10. The firm sent out the below invitation to journalists.
It’s not entirely surprising that Google would step up its Indian presence though. Back in February, the company announced that it was bringing Hindi to the Google Assistant. And language support is usually a precursor to Assistant-enabled hardware being available in a market.
Other languages in the works or now supported by Google Assistant include: Danish, Dutch, Indonesian, Norwegian, Swedish and Thai. The firm is targeting more than 30 supported languages by the end of 2018.