Mobiles & Tablets

Why Google won't launch Pixel 4 in India

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on October 15, 2019 Published on October 15, 2019

If you were waiting to buy the Pixel 4 in India, then you would be disappointed. Google has announced that it will not launch Pixel 4XL and Pixel 4 smartphones in India, but did not give any reason for its decision.

Sources, however, told BusinessLine that the decision may have hinged on Google’s ‘Project Soli’, a sensing technology that uses a miniature radar to detect touchless gestures from motion tracking of the user’s hand, for example. Soli is one of the key features deployed in the new Pixel phones.

"The technology uses a specific radio-frequency that has not been allowed for use by private players. Google would have had to take permission or take a licence to use this frequency in India," said an industry expert.

A Google spokesperson said: “We decided not to make Pixel 4 available in India. We remain committed to our current Pixel phones and look forward to bringing future Pixel devices to India.”

The Soli sensing technology is enabled by a special chip, which incorporates the entire sensor and antenna array into an ultra-compact 8mm x 10mm package. Its use is based on the concept of virtual tools, which are gestures that mimic familiar real-world interactions with physical tools. A gesture like tapping the thumb with the index finger, for example, will trigger an action, in the kind of interactions being developed by Google.

"The crux of the issue is the 60GHz frequency that Soli is based on. The Indian government doesn't allow public use of the frequency — unlike the US — effectively preventing Google from launching the phone in the country," said a post by

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Published on October 15, 2019
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