“Google doubled inventory for Pixel for India last year and this year the intention is to further increase the focus and get larger share from global inventory for the India market,” a senior company executive told ET.
The company is reportedly planning to launch a new Pixel smartphone, possibly Pixel 5a, in June this year. However, the company hasn’t announced a date.
Google is closely monitoring pricing strategy of companies like Apple and OnePlus in the Rs 30,000-Rs 40,000 segment. “Pricing is a learning curve. The fight is on…we came up with an aggressive pricing for Pixel 4a, which gave good results.” the executive added.
Google, however, didn’t launch the Pixel 5 (5G) and Pixel 4a (5G) in India. The executive said that the services will take some time in India, and the Qualcomm 5G chipset is expensive, thereby increasing the overall price of a phone. “Why do we want an expensive phone when Indians can’t use 5G. Because of hardware cost, 5G variants weren’t launched in India.”
The company’s ambition is to be available in more price segments in the Indian smartphone market going forward. “We also want to play brand value in the smartphone segment. Pixel awareness is in the market now.”
Google India declined to comment on ET’s queries.
As per Counterpoint Research data, Pixel smartphone sales grew 36% year-on-year in the 2020 calendar year over 2019. “It is still selling around 50,000 but holds a good potential in the premium segment in coming years. Google is a dark horse. It has faced problems in India due to its distribution, which it needs to resolve,” Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint Research said.
Pathak added that Google needs to look at its go-to-market and channel strategy and by doing that it can easily corner 1-2% in the market. “With Google Home speakers and other products, they can approach the channel in a different manner. They could use LFRs for ecosystem experience, which will also help the Pixel series.”
Pathak said the Rs 30,000-Rs40,000 price segment is growing and will further grow in India. “Everyone is new in the segment…Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo are new players. Oneplus, samsung, and Apple are driving 90% of the shipments in the segment.”
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