Google’s Pixel devices are shaping up to be the poster boy of Android this season. The device has found itself privy to some unexpected good fortunes after Samsung’s flagship, the Galaxy Note 7, made an unforeseen exit. This leaves the field clear for a contest between Apple’s iPhone 7 and Google’s Pixel range, in the ultra premium device segment. Google wants to ensure that Pixel customers have access to a good after sale experience too and as such, the company has partnered up with HTC to care of after sale services in India.
Pixel devices will also be manufactured by HTC, who will then be importing them into the country. As the manufacturer of the devices, the company is well suited to service it, which may have been a factor in Google’s choice.
Announcing the partnership, a Google spokesperson said,
We have partnered with HTC India for after sales service in 56 walk-in service centres in over 30 cities. Redington India is our national distributor for all channels in India.
As far as sales are concerned, Google will be using its own network as well as that of HTC’s, to market the Pixel devices. While Pixel will be available through Flpkart online, it will also be sold by several large brick and mortar chains including Vijay Sales, Croma, Reliance Digital, Jumbo, Spice Mobility, Poorvika and Sangeetha Mobiles.
The announcement comes a day before the pre-orders for the Pixel and its larger sibling, Pixel XL, are slated to open in the country. While pre-orders will begin from the 13th of October, Google is planning to start delivering the devices by the month end. It is probably reasonable to expect the Pixel lineup to appear across retail store in a couple of weeks as well.
Meanwhile, there are a couple of important points that may influence the sale of Google’s latest product. One, is ofcourse the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which has explosively left the arena. Next is the iPhone 7, which according to man reports, isn’t particularly different from its predecessor — particularly on the surface. So yes, if the arguments Apple has been putting up in its case against Samsung (for consumers, design = product) actually hold in the real world, customers may be more likely to go for the different, Pixel lineup rather than the same old iPhone series.
Meanwhile, we will know more once the Pixel devices actually start selling. Google has made several very significant changes from the Nexus series, including the projection of its AI as a central phenomenon across its ecosystem. Considering that we use Google almost everywhere (unless you are one of the Apple ecosystem folks), the Pixel lineup could well provide users with an extremely integrated experience across all their devices.
It’s the season when many set out to buy premium devices in the country. With Samsung out of the arena, it is going to be a one on one battle for Google and Apple in one of world’s most lucrative mobile markets.