FP ExplainersMay 16, 2022 17:28:19 IST
Google will finally be getting back into the Indian smartphone market after a gap of two years when they officially launch the Pixel 6a in India. However, there are a number of challenges awaiting the tech giant when they foray into their second innings in the country.
The Pixel lineup of smartphones from Google has a very strong fan following in India. Despite the fact that the Pixel 6 was never officially launched in the country, sellers like Amazon do sell an imported and unlocked version of the Pixel 6 in India, for a good premium. Even though a potential customer couldn’t claim a warranty on the device, and was paying a hefty premium on top of the high price, there were several people who actually bought and used the phone.
Clearly, there is a sizable number of tech enthusiasts and potential customers waiting for the Pixel 6a to officially launch. But will it be the smash away hit that Google is hoping it to be? Well, we look at the challenges that stand in their way.
Even when they were officially releasing their devices in India, the Pixel had a reputation of not being a serviceable device, mainly because there weren’t enough service centres that could do repairs. And of the few outlets that could service Pixel devices, most of them did an abysmal job. Repair times would run into weeks, and more often than not, finding basic replacement parts would be a nightmare. Google clearly needs to improve their service centres and service network if it wants to capture a significant portion of the Indian market.
India is a very price sensitive market, which is why most smartphone manufacturers ply their customers with amazing hardware, and some really good deals right when a device launches. The bad news for Google is that the price point at which they are likely to launch the Pixel 6a, which is about Rs 40,000, is considered to be premium, where manufacturers are providing some top notch features like very powerful SoCs and some amazing cameras. The good news for Google is that this price point is booming and people want to see what a player like Google can offer. They have the SoC, and the software to pull this off. The camera, especially for this price point, is something to worry about.
Availability of units
If rumours are anything to go by, Google is planning to launch the Pixel 6a around the Dussehra/Diwali festivities. Google cannot afford to mess up the supply of units if they indeed start selling the devices then. Nor, can they afford to order up a bunch of inventory, and risk most of them sitting on shelves when the festivities are over. They will need to manage their stock and inventory in a manner that they haven’t in a long time.
Google’s 2 Year Hiatus
Perceptions matter and that is why smartphone manufacturers launch multiple devices throughout any given year. Because Google Pixel has been conspicuously absent from the smartphone market for some time now, people who aren’t exactly tech enthusiasts will have apprehensions.