Google to start producing smartphones in India

Google has decided to move part of its production of Pixel smartphones to India. An approach that makes sense, the Asian country representing one of the most prolific markets for the Mountain View firm.

A very attractive market for Google

According to the media The Information, the American giant “has launched a call for tenders with manufacturers in India for the manufacture of 500,000 to 1 million Pixel smartphones, or 10 to 20% of the estimated annual production of the device”. In addition to confirming Google’s commitment to growing its business in the mobile sector, this decision demonstrates its desire to sell more devices in India, its largest market in terms of number of users.

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For the past three years, Google has avoided launching flagship versions of its smartphone in India, focusing more on the mid-range, but that should change. By producing its phones locally, the company will indeed be able to avoid the heavy import duties that New Delhi currently levies on its smartphones, which are up to 20%. In addition, the Indian government offers a series of benefits to companies that produce materials locally in India.

In addition to these obvious benefits, this approach is in line with Google’s ambitions. In 2020, the company announced that it would invest $10 billion in India over a period of five to seven years.

A street in India.

The Indian market, young and very large, is considered a real goose with golden eggs by technology companies. Photography: Charl Folscher / Unsplash

A bigger trend

Other major mobile manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Samsung, Oppo and even Vivo are already producing devices in India; this is also the case with Apple, which entered the country about five years ago. The apple brand, a great rival of Google, recently decided to accelerate its approach by migrating its production of devices from China to India and Vietnam, in particular because of the complications in the supply chain generated by the various confinements put in place in China during the first part of 2022.

In recent months, Foxconn has shifted production of the iPhone increasingly to India, and assembly of the iPhone 14, the company’s latest smartphone, is expected to begin in the country by the end of the year. In addition, Apple wants to produce some of its iPads as well as the Apple Watch and MacBooks in Vietnam.

These decisions on the part of the American giants reflect a real trend: they want to relocate their production from China in order to depend less on the Middle Kingdom, against the backdrop of the trade war with the United States. Also, the various confinements have proven to American companies that it was never good to depend on only one country.

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