The ninth annual Google for India event had a big announcement: the company plans to manufacture its Pixel phones in India, following steady growth in the country's demand for the devices. Google's senior vice president for Devices and Services, Rick Osterloh, positioned India as one of the company's most important markets for Pixel devices. Google aims to begin rolling out locally produced Pixel 8 smartphones in 2024, eventually expanding to other Pixel models.
Google's contribution to the "Make in India" initiative will see partnerships with domestic and international manufacturers. In a tweet, the CEO of Alphabet and Google, Sundar Pichai, stated, "We're committed to being a trusted partner in India's digital growth." The pivot also allows Google to diversify its production away from China, where supply chain risks continue due to strains between the nation and the United States.
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 @PMOIndia + MEIT Minister @AshwiniVaishnaw.
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) October 19, 2023
The company's decision is another win for India's government, which has attracted international device manufacturers, like Samsung and Apple, to make major investments in local production. Apple first produced iPhones in India back in 2017, but the first devices produced were all older models. Production initially also lagged six to nine months behind China but has improved steadily, first with iPhone 14 production starting within a month of launch. Most recently, a small number of India-made iPhone 15s were available in the region the same day as those produced in China.