Google plans to produce Pixel smartphones in India

Many smartphone brands have started making smartphones (albeit partially) in India, including Vivo, Xiaomi, and even Apple. And now rumor has it that Google may soon join the list and may start manufacturing some Pixel smartphones in India.

A recent report by The Information reveals that Google could start manufacturing around 5,00,000 to 1 million units of Pixel phones in India. This would represent 10-20% of Google’s annual Pixel shipments. Sundar Pichai, the company’s chief executive, hinted at a manufacturing plan in India earlier this year, but no final decision has been made, according to the report. If permitted, Chinese components will still need to be imported for manufacturing operations in India.

It is suggested that Google is in talks with manufacturers in the country, but nothing is concrete yet. According to a source familiar with the matter, the company has had difficulty acquiring components due to the COVID-19 lockdown situation in China and as a result is exploring a new production location to keep things running smoothly . Geopolitical issues could be another reason for this change.

For those unaware, Google previously moved production to Vietnam for Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 production, but eventually moved back to China for Pixel 6 series smartphones. I’m not sure all the Pixel devices will be made in India.

This move could help Google streamline the production process and sell its Pixel smartphones at a more competitive price to compete with Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Realme, and more in India. Currently, the 20% import tax adds to the rather expensive price of Pixel smartphones. Local production could help solve this problem.

India, a new El Dorado for builders?

As a reminder, Apple already manufactures the iPhone 13, iPhone 12, and even the iPhone SE. The aim is also to start manufacturing the new iPhone 14 in India (while production in China also continues) soon, which would be earlier than usual.

Whether the newly introduced Pixel 6a becomes a “Made in India” device remains to be seen. We have yet to see if Google will launch the next Pixel 7 series in India or skip the launch once again. In addition, Google has planned to release the Google Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel Watch on October 6.

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