Deccan Chronicle

Google to make Pixel smart phone in India, first phones to be out in 2024

Deccan Chronicle.| KRISHNA MOHAN

Published on: October 19, 2023 | Updated on: October 19, 2023

Company also makes key announcements on making its products better with AI, expanding reach of formal credit, citizen-centric services

Google Pixel phone (Representational Image)

Google Pixel phone (Representational Image)

Hyderabad: In a push to Make in India campaign, technology giant Alphabet and Google chief executive officer Sundar Pichai announced plans to manufacture Pixel smartphones locally. The first devices will roll out in 2024, he announced on micro-blogging site X (formerly Twitter).

"We shared plans at #GoogleforIndia to manufacture Pixel smartphones locally and expect the first devices to roll out in 2024. We’re committed to being a trusted partner in India’s digital growth- appreciate the support for Make In India," he said in the post tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office and electronics and information technology minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

"We also introduced a more visual + local generative AI experience on Search to help surface AI-powered overviews on essential government programs, new Search features for small businesses, easier access to formal credit via Google Pay + more," Pichai said in another tweet.

No details about the locations have been made. Google is building its largest campus outside its Mountain View headquarters in Hyderabad. The campus can accommodate 18,000 individuals. Commenting on Pichai's post, a few hoped that the new manufacturing facility would be in Hyderabad to complement its largest office.

"Since launching our first Pixel phones in India, we’ve seen encouraging responses. We announced our plan to start manufacturing Pixel smartphones in India to make them more widely available across the country. We intend to start with the Pixel 8, and will partner international and domestic manufacturers to produce Pixel smartphones locally. We expect them to start to roll out in 2024," said  Sanjay Gupta, country head and vice-president, Google India, who shared the key announcements it made at  Google for India 2023 event in New Delhi via a blog.

Among others, it announced new generative AI-powered launches, partnerships and investments.  

Gupta said teams in India and around the world have continued to focus on building a more useful and inclusive internet experience.  The company is working to meet the diversity of the country’s local languages, build tools to deliver better experiences between merchants and shoppers, and utilise the power of India’s home-grown Digital Public infrastructure to help realise the dream of "Digital India."

"We will soon start surfacing AI-powered overviews for over 100 crucial government programmes around employment, housing, healthcare, farming, women’s welfare, and more. We will also roll out Search features to help small businesses show up better in Search results with a more visual, relevant and easily-filterable product feed . And with the power of generative AI, they’ll be able to easily create high-quality catalogs of their products to deliver richer shopping experiences," he said.

India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) has been a game changer for the Indian economy. Google Pay users will now be able to easily find and make payments for pre-approved credit lines from banks. Built on a foundation of consent and privacy safeguards, this will enable millions of underserved but eligible Indians across India to now access formal credit, he said.  

Google Cloud, to expand the benefits of technology to people and small businesses across India,  had also announced a range of collaborations with several of the country’s key organisations. Google Cloud and consumer data intelligence company Axis My India announced the launch of an inclusive and multilingual super-app called "a."  Its purpose is to grow people’s awareness and access to government social welfare programmes, basic day-to-day amenities, employment opportunities and healthcare benefits.  Google also announced a partnership with the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to help farmer producer organisations efficiently and easily sell their produce online.

It also announced its ‘DigiKavach’ initiative, our collaborative effort to work with industry partners and committed experts to share insights and combat online financial fraud. The programme aims to study how scammers operate, and work in tandem to develop and implement countermeasures to new emerging scams, collectively creating a safer and more secure digital ecosystem.

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