US major Google is likely to manufacture its Pixel smartphones at Foxconn’s unit in Tamil Nadu. According to sources, Google officials are likely to visit Chennai soon to meet government officials about this.

A Bloomberg report says that Google plans to invest “billions of dollars” in Tamil Nadu to set up smartphone production, picking the southern industrial province for its manufacturing push.

TN electronics manufacturing

This means Tamil Nadu will consolidate its position as a numero uno State in electronics manufacturing. In FY24, according to Central government data, Tamil Nadu achieved a record $9.56 billion in electronics exports in FY 2023-24 - 78 per cent growth over the previous year.

The State is already home to manufacturing Apple and Samsung smartphones. Foxconn and Pegatron are the biggest manufacturers of Tatas, which will soon start at Hosur. Google Pixel smartphone manufacturing could potentially attract billions of dollars in investment and provide jobs to thousands, especially for youngsters.

Pixel phones, which debuted in 2016, are largely manufactured in different parts of Asia, starting in China. In 2019, production moved to Vietnam, and the company is now considering India.

Google investment Tamil Nadu

Last year, Tamil Nadu Industries Minister TRB Rajaa, along with Foxconn officials, went to the US to meet senior executives at Google about starting a factory in the State. (Foxconn makes phones for Google.)

Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President, Platforms & Devices, Google, on October 19, 2023 dropped the first hint of Make in India Pixel in 2024 by saying, “Taking the next big step on our Pixel journey in India.”

“Today we see an even greater opportunity to make Pixel smartphones available to more people in India, and are very excited to announce our plan to manufacture Pixel smartphones in India. We intend to start with the Pixel 8, and will partner with international and domestic manufacturers to produce Pixel smartphones locally. We expect these devices to start to roll out in 2024, joining India’s Make in India initiative,” he said.

“India is a priority market for Pixel smartphones, and we’re committed to bringing the best of our hardware and underlying built-in software capabilities to people across the country. In recent years, India has established itself as a truly world-class hub for manufacturing, resulting in a thriving environment for businesses to flourish,” he said.

The latest smartphone is Google Pixel 8a, which is powered by its latest Google Tensor G3 chip. It is equipped with AI features as Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro — like Gemini, Best Take and Audio Magic Eraser. The Pixel 8a starts at ₹52,999.

Since the launch, Google Pixel unit shipments have rapidly increased. Up until 2023, the American technology giant had shipped just under 38 million Pixel phones, says Statista.

Several smartphone market competitors are forecast to record revenues of almost $470 billion in 2024, posing a challenge to Google. Apple and Samsung are the leaders in this industry, while other vendors, like Xiaomi, occupy lower market shares. In 2023, Apple surpassed Samsung in unit shipments for the first time, shipping around 235 million smartphones worldwide and global data and business intelligence platforms.