New Delhi: The Google Pixel 4 smartphone, launched at an event in the US today, is not coming to India. The company confirmed the same in a statement to the press today.
“Google has a wide range of products that we make available in different regions around the world. We determine availability based on a variety of factors, including local trends, and product features. We decided not to make Pixel 4 available in India. We remain committed to our current Pixel phones and look forward to bringing future Pixel devices to India,” Google said in its statement.
The company had launched the Pixel 3a smartphone in India earlier this year, hitting a lower price point than the Pixel 3. The phone sports a similar camera to the Pixel 3, but had compromises in other aspects, like design, processing power and more.
However, the Pixel 3a sells at a price point that’s more popular in India than the above ₹40,000 range. In the ultra-premium category, which is where the Pixel phones are usually sold at, Google hasn’t been able to do very well. According to an 11 October report by the Economic Times, the company had sold only 80,000 units of its Pixel 2 smartphone in India.
Given such low numbers, Google’s move does make sense. “Google understands India is a grounds up market. It can’t be tamed superficially. So they should put some effort to really build the basics to make Pixel a brand for growth. It’s a paradox that the company which helps every other brand in discovery in today’s time, isn’t known to many as a brand, with respect to smartphones,” said Faisal Kawoosa, founder and principal analyst, at techARC.
“I believe they need more time to build up the market to take Pixel to its potential,” he added.
One of the highlights of the Pixel 4 was in its new gesture controls powered by a radar sensor. Earlier reports have indicated that this feature would not be making it to some countries, including India. “I think India still remains an attractive market which Google needs to reconsider in future. It might be just because of the Project Soli feature (which brings the gesture controls). The premium segment is growing at a much faster rate than the overall market and this is infact the right time to scale operations in India. Maybe Google will look at other SKUs for India market going forward like Pixel 3a,” said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research.