A cheaper Google Pixel phone might be coming very soon.
Google is reportedly planning to launch a more affordable Pixel phone in July or August, according to a report from the the Economic Times.
Citing four senior Google executives who’ve been making the rounds in India, the site, which has a mixed track record on unannounced products, claims the new Pixel will be a midrange device “focused on price-sensitive markets such as India.”
Additionally, the site also says the next flagship Pixel phone, which we’re presuming to be the “Pixel 3,” may launch “around Diwali.”
Diwali is a Hindu “festival of lights” celebrated in the fall. Last year, Diwali fell on Oct. 19 and the Pixel 2 was released on the same day.
Diwali is on Nov. 7 this year, which means if the report ends up correct, the Pixel 2 could come out either in October (as it has for the last two years) or in early November this year.
Though Pixel sales doubled year over year in 2017, Google reportedly only sold 3.9 million total Pixel phones last year — barely a blip in phone sales compared to giants such as Apple and Samsung, which sell that many phones in less than a week.
Launching a cheaper Pixel phone in India could provide a big boost for Google’s fledgling Android smartphones.
Launching a cheaper Pixel phone in regions such as India could provide a big boost for Google’s fledgling Android smartphones. India is the second largest smartphone market after China, and Google currently doesn’t sell its Pixel phones in the country.
Considering how Android phone makers like OnePlus and Xiaomi are killing it in India with relatively inexpensive premium devices like the OnePlus 5T and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, it makes a lot of sense for Google make a move there with its hardware.
A cheaper Pixel phone would also further Google’s mission to bring Android and the internet to emerging markets. Google’s already laid the software groundwork for “lite” Android devices with Oreo Go edition of its mobile operating system, and now it could sell the hardware to pair with it.
Furthermore, the strategy could expand the Pixel brand worldwide. It’s hard for Pixel sales and brand recognition to reach Apple or Samsung levels if the phones are only limited to a handful of developed countries.
No word on whether Google might be planning to release the cheaper Pixel in the U.S. It’s entirely possible Google could restrict the phone to emerging markets.
With Google’s I/O developer conference coming up, it’s possible we could hear more about this new cheaper Pixel in about a month.