Sundar Pichai, Google’s India-born CEO, is visiting the country on December 16. The announcement of his visit, combined with a media invite sent out by Google about a possible smartphone launch on December 16, has given rise to speculation that the CEO would be in the country to breathe new life into Google’s Android One program, which aims to sell more budget and affordable phones the world’s biggest smartphone market -- but didn’t exactly set the market on fire.
Although Pichai’s itinerary is yet to be made public, the invites sent out seem to be clear. “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,” the invite reads.
Under the Android One initiative, Google partners with manufacturers -- Micromax, Lava, Karbonn and Spice in India -- to build cheap phones that can still run the latest version of its Android software. Companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft have been constantly focusing on India as these Internet giants try to get more people online to increase user base, and thus revenues.