The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will be specifically targeted at offline retail channels in India in an effort to improve on the commercial performance of their predecessors in the South Asian country, a number of Google executives told Gadgets 360 earlier this week. Google Hardware SVP Rick Osterloh and Hardware Product Management VP Mario Queiroz revealed that the upcoming handsets will still be available for online purchase in India but the company will attempt to get them into the hands of as many local consumers as possible over the coming months in an effort to convince them that they're worth the money. Most industry trackers agree that offline sales are still the main growth generator in the Indian smartphone market, with consumers in the country seemingly preferring to try out any device before financially committing to it.
The 2016 Pixel series didn't perform in a particularly impressive manner in India, with Mr. Queiroz claiming that Alphabet's subsidiary learned a lot from that experience and identified certain aspects of its local product strategy that it's adamant to improve this year, including the added focus on offline retail channels. The Mountain View, California-based tech giant is also planning to commit more money to advertising the Pixel 2 lineup in India with the goal of better explaining its latest offering(s), something that it didn't manage to do last year, as suggested by Mr. Queiroz's comments.
While Google is now apparently taking a more calculated approach toward competing in India than it did with the original Pixel series, it remains to be seen how the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL end up performing in the country given the fact that both devices will be extremely expensive relative to the purchasing power of the average Indian consumer; the Pixel 2 will start at the equivalent $950, whereas the 128GB variant of the Pixel 2 XL will cost approximately $1,260 in India, which is a lot for a country whose gross domestic product per capita hovered just above the $1,700 mark last year, according to data compiled by the World Bank. Indian consumers interested in pre-ordering the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL will be able to do so from October 26th, with Flipkart being Google's exclusive online distribution partner in the country for the company's next two Android smartphones.