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Calling India a priority market, global tech major Alphabet Inc's Google on Thursday announced that it will be manufacturing its flagship Pixel line-up of phones in India. The company has said that it will start manufacturing the Pixel 8 in India and the devices will roll out in 2024, as a part of the Make in India initiative.

"India is a priority market for Pixel," said Google's Rick Osterloh, Head of Devices & Services at the #GoogleForIndia event in New Delhi.

“We shared plans at GoogleForIndia to manufacture Pixel smartphones locally and expect the first devices to roll out in 2024. We’re committed to being a trusted partner in India’s digital growth- appreciate the support for Make In India,” Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google and Alphabet, said in an X post.

With this move, Google follows in the footsteps of other prominent global tech companies like Apple. Cupertino-based Apple, for instance, has leveraged this program to expand its network of suppliers in India and significantly increased iPhone production to over $7 billion during the fiscal year ending in March 2023.

South Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co. manufactures its Galaxy handsets in India while Chinese Android vendors including Xiaomi have set up partnerships with local assemblers.

India's Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in May held talks with Google's CEO Sundar Pichai, at the company's Mountain View, California headquarters. Their conversation reportedly focused on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiative to promote local manufacturing and India's government-supported push for technological advancements.

A report by Counterpoint Research recently showed that India is now the second-biggest manufacturing hub for mobile phones due to heavy investment from original equipment manufacturers, original design manufacturers and companies dealing in components and parts.

India is expected to export about 22 per cent of its total assembled mobile phones in 2023, according to Counterpoint Research. In a fillip to the ‘Make in India’ initiative, India saw mobile phones exports worth $5.5 billion (over Rs 45,000 crore) in the April-August period in the ongoing fiscal year (FY24), government and industry data showed recently.

India is set to cross Rs 1,20,000 crore in mobile phone exports in the current fiscal year, with Apple leading the market with more than 50 per cent in FY24.