Google to start manufacturing Pixel smartphones in India by next quarter

Google unveils new Pixel 4 smartphone.
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Google plans to starts producing its Pixel smartphones in India by the next quarter, according to a Nikkei Asia report on Thursday.

The U.S. tech giant has been striving to diversify its supply chain away from China amid U.S.-China tensions, while seeking to capitalize on the booming smartphone market in India, the report added.

The shift will support Google’s ambitious target of shipping more than 10 million Pixel phones this year, the report said citing a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The report also said Google will begin manufacturing Pixel 8 Pro phones in the April-June quarter, followed by the production of the Pixel 8 around the middle of 2024.

Google will be competing with smartphone giants Apple and Samsung in India, as well as Chinese brands vivo and Xiaomi.

In 2023, India became the fifth smartphone market to exceed 10 million iPhone unit sales in a single year, making it a key market for Apple, said Counterpoint Research in a report on Wednesday.

“For 2023, India’s smartphone market maintained stability with 148.6 million shipments overall, a minor drop of 2%,” research firm Canalys said last month.

“Samsung maintained pole position in Q4 2023 with a market share of 20% and shipments of 7.6 million units. Xiaomi continued its robust performance, claiming second place by shipping 7.2 million units. vivo secured third position with shipments of 7.0 million units,” according to Canalys.

Apple has also been shifting production from China to places such as India, as U.S.-China relations remain tense.

Apple CEO Tim Cook last year told CNBC that India represents a “huge opportunity” after a meeting with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House.

India has been offering incentives to companies for setting up manufacturing operations in the country. Dell, HP and Lenovo were among the 27 firms that were granted approval in November to manufacture tech hardware in India under a production-linked incentive scheme.

Read more about Google’s plans to produce Pixel smartphones in India in the Nikkei Asia report.

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