According to four tech industry sources with direct knowledge of Google's plan, the company will launch a mid-range version of the Pixel 3 for emerging markets. Emerging markets are much more price sensitive when it comes to smartphones, so entry-level and mid-range smartphones rule the roost with cash-strapped consumers. The smartphone would be available in critical markets like India, but would be completely separate from Google’s existing Android Go initiative.
“Google is excited about the expansion of the consumer products business in India with the advent of the cheap 4G internet led by Reliance Jio and other operators which it says will help to realize maximum potential of these products,” said one retailer that was present in one of Google's brainstorming sessions with industry partner.
Google reportedly doesn't want to become "overly-aggressive" with respect to pricing, so don't expect to see bargain basement pricing. However, pricing for the phone should greatly undercut flagship Pixel phones, making them more attractive to those that want something a bit more feature-filled than an Android Go device. In addition, it will help to bolster Google's brand visibility when it comes to hardware in emerging markets.
To that end, Google is also allegedly close to launching its Google Home family of AI smart speakers in India and eventually plans to make its Pixelbook Chromebooks, and smart home products (i.e. Nest) available as well. In essence, the lower-cost Pixel 3 smartphone will serve as the Trojan horse to spread Google's hardware family to a wider audience.
Unfortunately, there is no indication as to what kind of specs Google's mid-range smartphone will have or if it will ever make its way to the United States. Chances are, however, that it won't be packing in a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, which is widely expected for the upcoming Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.