Following the tragically premature demise of the Nexus family, Google decided to focus mainly on the premium smartphone category with own-brand Pixels, while also attracting higher-profile partners for the expansion and diversification of the Android One program.
Although most Android One devices still cater to power users on tight budgets with mid-range and upper mid-range features, Google is reportedly planning a Nexus revival of sorts aimed primarily at emerging markets.
According to “senior industry executives” briefed on the search giant’s product roadmap at recent “trade meets held in Malaysia, the UK and the US”, a mid-range Pixel smartphone focused on “price-sensitive markets such as India” should hit stores “around July – August.”
India, of course, is central to the ambitions of every tier 1 smartphone vendor in the world, as well as the tech industry in its entirety. Google has taken a major interest in building a strong retail presence there, eyeing a regional launch of the premium Pixelbook laptop, as well as the Google Home and Home Mini speakers, before long.
Pixel 2 phones are already relatively popular in the world’s second-largest smartphone market, with a full lineup of mobile services and apps also targeted specifically at local users. Thus, it makes perfect sense to expand the Pixel family to a new price point, although we still don’t understand why the Nexus program had to be interrupted for these few years.