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Google removes hurdle to sell new Pixel smartphones in India

Google removes hurdle to sell new Pixel smartphones in India
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Google removes hurdle to sell new Pixel smartphones in India (Photo/IANS)

Highlights

Google that has been very selective in picking its key markets is likely to add more countries into its list such as India which currently has previous-generation Google Pixel devices

New Delhi: Google that has been very selective in picking its key markets is likely to add more countries into its list such as India which currently has previous-generation Google Pixel devices and for this, the tech giant has finally removed the hurdle that stopped Pixel 4 and 4 XL devices in India last year.

Google was not able to sell the Pixel 4 and 4 XL devices in India due to its 'Soli Radar chip' on the front, which utilised the 60GHz frequency band banned for commercial use in India.

"It seems Google has finally removed the Soli Radar chip and the Pixel range can now be sold in India," said Hanish Bhatia, Senior Analyst with Counterpoint Research.

Google Store lists nine countries that will sell its newly-launched Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G devices — the US, Canada, Japan, UK, Germany, France, Ireland, Australia and Taiwan.

"But it may likely add more countries such as India, Singapore, Italy and Spain, which currently sell previous generation Google Pixel devices," Bhatia said.

Google would also be keen on capturing a pie in the European market in absence of Huawei, but it is likely to face tough competition from other Chinese OEMs.

"Google does have an edge in terms of brand equity, but it needs to build strong carrier partnerships and have a sturdy pricing and promotion strategy to capture the opportunity," the Counterpoint report said.

After currency conversion, Pixel 5 is priced at $599 in Canada, making it $100 cheaper compared to its retail price in the US.

"We delved further into this and found out that Pixel 5 is actually a sub-6 only device for every country other than the US. Therefore, there will be some price differentiation across these markets," the report added.

Although Google Store drives only a fraction of Google Pixel sales, the bottom line is that Google must have a sturdy pricing and promotion strategy across regions, especially in carrier channels.

On September 30, Google launched two Pixel devices — Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5.

This follows the August 3 launch of the Pixel 4a (a non-5G version), which is yet to hit the shelves in all its key markets, like India.

This means that three Pixel devices will be available for retail in most markets by mid-November, which will be a first for the Google Pixel team.

With its latest Pixel devices, Google has finally managed to make decent upgrades on the hardware.

Pixel devices bring the best-in-class Android experience along with an in-built AI neural engine that supports various features that might seem slightly distant for many smartphone OEMs.

Google has also managed to add '5G' capability in its Pixel range of devices at the right time.

"The 5G capability will enable Google to upsell its content and services such as Stadia, YouTube premium, storage and much more, going forward," Bhatia said.

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