India Markets close in 4 hrs 49 mins

Google Phone launches could spell double trouble for Apple

A piece of advice for all those who are looking to upgrade their mobile phones this year – be patient! For, close on the heels of rumors from Apple insiders, comes the expected reports that Google is planning a slew of launches over the next six to eight months, the marquee among them being a cheaper version of the Pixel phones.

Published reports suggest that while the phone launch is part of a price rejig and a much sharper focus on the emerging markets, which in today’s jargon is supposed to mean India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The reasons are obvious… Apple priced the latest iPhone XR at $749 while the Pixel 3 cost $799. So, quickly getting a Lite version of their latest offering was quite appropriate for Google that now perceives India as a big market.

The new phone is being spoken about as Google’s first non-premium model and could boast of features present in the Pixel 3, according to the report in the Nikkei Asian Review. What remains to be seen is whether the company limits the release to just one Lite version or go whole hog and also come out with a stripped-down version of the larger Pixel 3. The screen sizes being speculated about are 5.5 inch and 6-inch respectively for the two phones.

However, unlike the Apple launches that boasted of a base storage capacity of 64 GB, the two phones from Google may continue to offer 32 GB of space with additional memory slots that can be filled up as per the user’s requirements. The report also mentions that Google may launch its next premium version Pixel phone later this year too.

This means that the launch of the lighter versions may just happen over the next couple of months. There have been reports that both the Lite versions may hit the market in the United States on the Verizon network.

But, that’s not all from the Internet giant’s stable. There are reports that Google is betting big on the wearables market as well as in the smart speakers and smart cams space. The company has hired a large number of hardware engineers including more than 2000 that they took on board from HTC close to two years back in 2017.

With iPhone sales been sluggish over the past 12 months, Apple could face more problems if some of these rumors turn out to be reality. Not only is Google focusing on the Pixel phone, it’s recent search for a Vice President to lead the wearables team, suggest that the smartwatch market is the next in line for the company.

Though details are scarce about the new product, it is pretty obvious that the company has already got the wherewithal to tweak its operating system for launch the smart watches. And one needs to only recall Google’s deal with Fossil to purchase some of the latter’s intellectual property by paying $ 40 million a few weeks ago, and the story appears even more likely.

The company has shied away from launching its own brand of smartwatches, preferring instead to work with LG and other partners in the past. However, the latest reports suggest a change of mindset, something that could bring more sleepless nights to the beleaguered Apple.

Because, if Tim doesn’t Cook up something soon, Apple could lose considerable sheen, both with the customers and at the stock market!