Pixel promise

Google has announced plans to make its smartphones in India, starting with its Pixel 8. These India-made devices are expected to start rolling out in 2024. Admittedly, the online search major’s handsets have been also-rans in a well contested market, so their manufacture here is unlikely to imply eye-popping production volume. Yet, it’s an endorsement of India as a chosen place for global companies to produce high-tech gizmos. 

For India to make the most of its “China Plus One” opportunity, such wins matter. Korea’s Samsung, America’s Apple and Chinese brands such as Oppo are among those with smartphone assembly operations in India. Though the level of value addition in cases like Apple may not be very high, the local ecosystem is expanding steadily and the cluster effect should kick in at some point to lure larger portions of supply chains. 

To ease the process, our best bet would be to ensure better trade integration with a wider part of the world, including the East. Our import duties need to be kept generally low, rather than varied on an ad hoc case-by-case basis. Locally made Pixels bode well, but some aspects of policy may need depixelation. 

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Updated: 19 Oct 2023, 07:16 PM IST