Google is thinking about opening stores in India to sell the Pixel 2, Google Home and more

India is the second largest smartphone market in the world. Despite a per capita income that is considered to be very low, Google has been encouraged by the strong response to the Pixel 2 handsets at pop-up stores that the company put up in the country. These temporary stores allowed Google to show off the Pixel 2 and allowed the company to answer any questions from Indian consumers related to the phone.

Two top tier malls in India say that they have received requests to open Google stores in their locations. One executive whose mall hosted one of the pop-ups, says that Google has learned that it can't rely on websites to answer all consumer inquiries. As an example, he pointed out that the pop-up store in his mall included a dark room so that consumers could see for themselves how well the Pixel 2 camera takes pictures in locations with low-lights.

Pixel 2 handsets won't be the only products Google plans on selling at the brick and mortar Google stores. The Google Home line of smart speakers (which now include the Home Max and Home Mini models along with the original Google Home) will probably do brisk business in Indian-based stores. Also expected to be offered are Pixel laptops, Chromecast streaming devices and Google's Daydream View VR headsets.

Google opened some physical stores in India back in 2013 through a partnership with Spice Group. The stores, called AndroidLand sold Android flavored handsets from Samsung, Sony, HTC, Lenovo, Xolo, Micromax, Spice and Karbonn. The plan was to open 50 stores, but the venture died with only two of them opened.

Unlike Apple, which has filed for a single-brand retailing license in India, Google could decide to open its stores and have them operated by franchisees like Samsung and Xiaomi have done with its stores inside India.

source: EconomicTimes via Engadget

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