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Google bets on India with Pixel smartphone manufacturing

The new Pixel 8 Phone is displayed in New York City, U.S., October 4, 2023. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs/File Photo

An official from Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google said on Thursday that it will begin producing smartphones in India and release its flagship Pixel 8 model the following year, joining other international businesses that have already established operations in the South Asian country.

Senior Vice President of Devices and Services Rick Osterloh stated at a Google for India event that Google will collaborate with domestic and foreign manufacturers to make smartphones domestically.

“India is a priority market for Pixel smartphones, and we’re committed to bringing the best of our hardware and underlying built-in software capabilities to people across the country,” Osterloh stated.

No information was immediately available on the number of smartphones that would be produced or the locations of the facilities.

Additionally, the business disclosed plans to enable customers to purchase metro tickets straight from the Google Maps app.

With Google Pay, one of the most popular payment applications, Google said on Thursday that it will collaborate with DMI Finance, an Indian non-bank lender, to offer modest loans to businesses beginning at 15,000 rupees ($180).

In addition to offering credit via UPI, a feature recently approved by the central bank, Google Pay will also introduce loans through tie-ups with major banks.

The nation’s demand for modest personal loans is rising right now, which has the Indian central bank worried. As a result, there is a bigger push into lending now.

India, where Google’s Android environment powers the majority of smartphones, is one of its main growth markets.

However, Apple also has commercial and legal difficulties; startups and businesses like Disney have legally contested several of its in-app rules. As part of its ongoing antitrust litigation, Google is also facing a claim that it abused its dominant position in the Android market.

During a virtual meeting with Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed Google’s intentions to establish a worldwide fintech operations center at the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT).

According to statistics from market researcher Counterpoint, several multinational corporations are looking to India as their next source of development, including Apple (AAPL.O), which is predicted to account for 7% of all smartphone sales in the nation from July to December.

Micron Technology (MU.O), a U.S. memory chip company, intends to build its first semiconductor facility nationwide.

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