In the holiday season, Indian fans of Google’s smartphones will miss the new American gadgets, with the Pixel 4 models not released throughout India, the fastest-growing smartphone market worldwide.
“We chose not to launch Pixel 4 in India. We remain committed to our existing pixel phones, and look forward to taking upcoming pixel phones to India.” This was said by the company’s spokesperson.
“Google offers a wide range of services that they sell globally across various regions.” The Company stated while refraining from sharing the reason why Pixel 4 does not be available in India. “We are determining availability based on different factors, including local trends and product features.” The company added.
Experts have however claimed that the major factor as to why it is not possible in India is the absence of the 60 MHz spectrum band that is essential for the soli radar chip in the Pixel 4 phone. Another feature supported by the chip is facial recognition that wouldn’t work on currently available Indian frequencies. The systems are authenticated by PIN and pattern, but no fingerprint scanner. This chip is important for the functioning of the devices.
Another feature supported by the chip is facial recognition that wouldn’t work on currently available Indian frequencies. The systems are authenticated by PIN and pattern, but no fingerprint scanner.
“The spectrum band has long been under debate, but since it is not publicly available in India, we can only do little to not launch the phones here,” a CEO said, requesting not to be mentioned.
In a standstill against Indian telcos, the government’s decision not to delicense the 60-MHz band is rooted. The E and V bands that include 60 MHz to be auctioned, not delicensed. This was suggested by Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio Infocomm.
Several experts say Google could have other factors for not launching the phone in India, where it has little or no presence.
“An evolving demand sector like India won’t help Google move the needle with only a market leader in size or price,” says Navkendar Singh, International Data Corporation India’s research director. “With Apple and Samsung vying for the Small Premium Segment, India needs to be inexpensive, and we can anticipate the Pixel 4A series (without the Radar feature) to release in the mid-segment.”
Google’s Pixel devices have never made a mark with a 0.1 percent share in India, mainly because of their high price. The inexpensive, Android One OS-based, vague communication about branding and commercialization did not fly in South Asia.
Nevertheless, according to Tarun Pathak, assistant director, mobile devices and ecosystems at Counterpoint Technology Market Research, India remains an interesting market for Google to keep close track.
“The premium segment is increasing at a much more rapid rate than the industry as a whole, which is indeed the best time to expand in India. Perhaps Google is looking forward to other Indian SKUs, such as Pixel 3a,” he added.