What you need to know
- Google is said to be considering moving some Pixel phone production to India.
- The company could manufacture between 10% and 20% of the lineup's annual production in the country.
- The rumored plan signals Google's intention to exit China as the country implements Covid-19 lockdowns.
Google has traditionally skipped the Indian market when it releases its Pixel smartphones to consumers (until the Pixel 6a), but that may change in the future as the company is reportedly considering shifting some of its smartphone production to the country.
According to a report by The Information, Google has sought bids from manufacturers in India to produce 500,000 to 1 million units of the Pixel smartphone. This means the search giant could be looking to manufacture 10% to 20% of the lineup's annual production in India.
If this pans out, India will be a new location for Google's smartphone production. The company's phone manufacturing has traditionally taken place in China over the past few years. However, in 2019, production shifted from China to Vietnam.
Android Central has reached out to Google for comment and will update this article when we hear back. The massive COVID-19 lockdowns in China are said to have influenced Google's decision.
With Google presumably assembling its Android phones in the world's second largest smartphone market, other OEMs might face tough competition in the country. Major Android phone makers such as Samsung, Xiaomi, and Oppo currently produce many of their handsets in India, allowing them to offer lower prices than Google.
Even the mid-range Google Pixel 6a, Google's first smartphone release in India in nearly three years, was priced too high in the country, causing Google's entry into this market to flop. It was inevitable: India currently levies a 20% import tax on phones manufactured outside of the country.
By bringing its production works to India, Google will presumably be able to appeal to the budget-conscious market with competitive pricing.
The Pixel 6a, a phone with a powerful camera and a flagship-level Google Tensor processor, raises the bar for phones under $500.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.