Google to reportedly debut cheaper mid-range Pixel phones for emerging markets like India

Google is set to announce a mid-range variant of its Pixel lineup of smartphone in July, as reported by Economic Times citing four tech industry executives who were part of a Google-organized meetup organized in Malaysia, U.S., and the UK.

The smartphone will reportedly make its debut in emerging markets such as India, though this is not to be confused with Google's efforts in the lower-end segment with the Android Go lineup of smartphones.

Not much else has been revealed about these devices, but one executive present at the meetup hinted at Google's motivation:

"Google is excited about the expansion of the consumer products business in India with the advent of the cheap 4G internet led by Reliance Jio and other operators which it says will help to realise maximum potential of these products."

The above sources also corroborate a previous rumor regarding the impending release of Google Home devices in India, and add pricing information to the mix; the mid-size Google Home and the Google Home Mini will be sold as soon as the end of April, expected to be priced at ₹ 9,999 ($150) and ₹ 4,499 ($70) respectively. The company also intends to make its premium Pixelbook laptop available for purchase in the country over the next year or so.

Google WiFi, the company's connectivity solution that's essentially a mesh router with added bells and whistles, and its Nest lineup of smart home-focused products, which include doorbells, security cameras, smoke detectors and alarm systems, will also make an appearance in the company's Indian product catalog.

At the moment, the only Google-branded products sold in India are the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL, along with the Google Chromecast devices. It was mentioned in the meetup that Google faced challenges in the form of lack of availability of these devices, something the company aims to tackle with stronger presence in brick-and-mortar stores, per one executive:

"Their hardware distributor Redington will expand brick-and-mortar distribution reach. Google will also do in-store branding and signage in selected stores, and set up exclusive zones with specially designed fixtures like Apple."

Another retailer said that the company would like to increase its offline presence to appeal to the more experienced consumers that are generally found in the market its upcoming products will be catering to.

Given the mid-range Pixel device's reported July-August release timeframe, it may see itself announced at Google's I/O event, to be held on the 8th, 9th and 10th of May. It isn't expected to interfere with the release schedule of the flagship Pixel line, which is still set for its October-November release, similar to last year's Pixel 2 lineup.

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