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Google eyeing brick and mortar stores in India to push Pixel: Report

Google has opened a dozen popup shops in India in recent weeks. The broader offline presence could launch in late 2018, a report said.

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CNET/CBS Interactive

Google is readying to launch brick and mortar stores in India to boost Pixel smartphone sales, according to Economic Times.

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The launch of brick and mortar stores in India could follow a dozen popup stores Google opened in recent weeks that include a dark room where the second-generation Pixel's lowlight camera capability is shown. In the past, Google has relied on the Play Store online and third-party retailers to move units.

There are 1.2 billion mobile subscribers in India, and players like Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Apple have a healthy lead in smartphone marketshare. In October, India overtook the US as the world's second largest smartphone market behind China.

Sources speaking to Economic Times said the retail stores could carry other Google products as well, including Google Home, Chromecast, Pixel laptops, and Daydream View. The offline presence may launch sometime in late 2018, the report said.

Google has renewed its focus on hardware to test artificial intelligence tools like Google Assistant and Android software.

We have reached out to Google, and will update you if we learn more.