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Google promises stronger Pixel presence in India, but the price tag won’t help
Google wants to boost offline sales of the Pixel 2 duo in India, but with the phones starting at $950, it might be easier said than done.
India is set to surpass the US and become the second largest smartphone market in the world, which explains why so many companies – including Google, Samsung, and Apple – are doing everything that they can to grow their presence there. Google, in particular, is having a hard time because it’s so new to smartphone hardware business. After all, before the original Pixel and Pixel XL last year, the search giant’s primary services were all software-based.
Last year’s Pixel phones didn’t perform too well in the Indian market, but according to Google’s VP of Product Management, its team has learned quite a bit since then:
We learnt quite a bit with the first Pixel in India and one of the things we’re doing is increasing our marketing investment, really to explain the product. We’ve expanded the channel and from a go-to-market perspective, we’ll be much more present this year compared to last year.
In particular, the search giant says that it hopes to increase its offline presence. According to the company, consumers in India generally prefer to purchase premium, high-end smartphones after having experienced them in-person, something that they failed to capitalize on last year. However, good marketing strategies aren’t the only factor in strong sales. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are prohibitively expensive in India, and it’s unclear whether Google’s initiatives will be enough to convince consumers in an emerging market to spend up to $1,260 on a phone.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are prohibitively expensive in India, and it’s unclear whether Google’s initiatives will be enough to convince consumers.
The official starting price for the Pixel 2 duo is Rs 61,000 or $950 in India: Rs 61,000 ($950) for the 64 GB version of the regular Pixel 2, and Rs 70,000 ($1,075) for the 128 GB version. For its bigger sibling, it’ll set you back Rs 73,000 ($1,122) and Rs 82,000 ($1,260) for 64 GB and 128 GB respectively. Pre-orders start on October 26 in India, but the question is “Just how many people would be willing to dish out a grand for a phone that looks like a 2016 flagship?”