Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s scheduled India visit; what to expect?

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai is scheduled to visit India next week. This will be Chennai-born Pichai’s first visit to India since he took over as CEO of the restructured Google in August.

While the agenda of Pichai’s visit has not been made public, the invites sent by the company hint at launch of the next version of Google’s affordable Android One smartphones.

“At Google we believe that technology can change people’s lives for the better. Indians are coming online at an astonishing rate with affordable smartphones. These new users have a completely fresh view on what the Internet has to offer. Please block your date for an event with Google as we outline our vision for these users,” says the Google press invite which appears to be in tandem with the company’s vision for Android One.

In July Lava, which was phase 2 partner for Google’s Android One initiative, rolled out Pixel V1 in July for over Rs 11,000 almost double the price of the first handsets launched a year ago.

In the second version Google shifted focus to people who have used smartphones before with higher device price and better specs of Pixel V1, but it failed to enthuse consumers and shipments dropped sharply in September and October, according to data from Cybex Exim.

Android One represents Google’s push to lower the prices of smartphones in less developed parts of the world where computers are considered a luxury. Google consults with device makers to build cheap phones that can still run the latest version of its Android software.

Google, Facebook and other internet companies are trying to get more people online in places in emerging markets so that they can expand their audience and eventually sell more digital advertising.

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