Pixel 2 XL

Our favorite phones for the past couple of years have been Google’s Pixel devices. The originals were an impressive start, and round two refined the formula. The biggest problem, though, has been the cost. Now, however, it seems that Google is developing a more affordable version of the device for emerging markets.

A new report from Economic Times corroborates exactly what we wrote more than a year ago here at 9to5Google. As we said, Google is planning on a big play in the for emerging markets, which apparently includes the launch of its Home smart speakers and premium Pixelbook laptop in the country. The report says that Google is working on a mid-range smartphone for India as an extension of the Pixel lineup.

It’s largely unclear what Google has planned for this smartphone, as we don’t know anything regarding specifications or a target price point. Pricing, though, has always been a roadblock for the Pixel family in emerging markets, so creating a more affordable version is certainly a good idea for Google to pursue.

While Google apparently plans to launch its smart speakers, Google Home and Google Home Mini, in India as soon as later this month, this mid-range smartphone wouldn’t arrive until July or August the publication says. Apparently, the coming Pixel 3 will also be launching in the country if this report turns out to be true with a debut “around Diwali.” That would line up with the early-mid October launches we saw with the Pixel and Pixel 2.

Google already sells its flagship devices such as the Pixel in India, but its saturation in the country is definitely minimal (not counting Android One devices). One retailer familiar with Google’s plans said that the company “does not plan to become over-aggressive to chase market share in the consumer products space; instead, it first wants to have a sizeable retail presence in the country and build the brand.”

9to5Google’s Take

Google expanding its brand in the Indian market is a smart move, as it is one of the biggest markets in the world. With the current high pricing of the Pixel family, though, that would be tough. With a mid-range device, Google could increase its chances of selling units, but it would certainly be disappointing if the first non-flagship Pixel device launched exclusively in India.

Would you buy a mid-range Pixel, or should Google stick to flagships? Drop a comment below and let us know!

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About the Author

Ben Schoon

Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

Find him on Twitter @NexusBen. Send tips to schoon@9to5g.com or encrypted to benschoon@protonmail.com.