Google is planning a mid-range Pixel smartphone, aggressively priced for developing markets including India, according to a new report from Economic Times.
Google is said to launch the mid-range Pixel smartphone in price sensitive markets around July-August.
A "leading retailer" reportedly told Economic Times:
"Google is excited about the expansion of the consumer products business in India with the advent of the cheap 4G internet led by Reliance Jio and other operators which it says will help to realise maximum potential of these products.
Google is reportedly planning a big advertising push to better compete with Apple and Samsung in developing markets.
In late 2017, Google began launching popup neighborhood phone stores in India, and at one time they accounted for 36 percent of Pixel sales in India. Google will also reportedly launch brick and mortar stores in 2018 -- a perfect place to show a new mid-range phone to new customers.
This isn't the first time we've heard about Google's "budget" phone. More than a year ago, 9to5Google reported Google is planning a Pixel phone "aimed at different markets" with a lower price and less powerful hardware.
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 2017, India overtook the US as the world's second largest smartphone market behind China.
Google has renewed its focus on hardware to test and model artificial intelligence tools like Google Assistant and Android software for OEMs and developers.
We have reached out to Google, and will update you if we learn more. Like with all rumors, we advise you to take it with a grain of salt.