To change this situation, the search giant is reportedly planning on opening brick-and-mortar stores in India. Many large format retail stores have dedicated store-within-stores for the Pixel as well. While Google hasn't officially commented, one of the sources familiar with the matter has said that Google has hired a senior Apple executive to be part of its expansion plans. One source expects that Google's physical stores may open their doors in the second half of next year. It is said that the company was pleased with the response received to its pop up centers opened recently in Mumbai and Delhi-NCR regions to showcase the newly launched Pixel 2 smartphones. Some malls where these experience zones were set up have already got inquiries from Google regarding setting up of physical stores according to the report. Apple, however, has been lobbying hard in India for single-brand retail licence to be able to open its own stores. "They got a flavour of how physical stores are also important because you can't explain numerous features online", said a top executive at a mall where the company had a pop-up store for more than a month.
Google is said to have been encouraged by the response to its pop-up stores recently, ET reports. Its hardware includes Google Home smart speakers, Chromecast streaming devices, Pixel laptops and Daydream View virtual reality headsets.
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There are 1.2 billion mobile subscribers in India, and players like Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Apple have a healthy lead in smartphone marketshare. It had actually opened similar exclusive affiliated store: AndroidLand in collaboration with Spice Mobility way back in 2013, which also used to sell Nexus 5, a first in Nexus series phone to be made available via physical store in the country. One of Google's key rivals, Apple too is interested in opening single-brand license stores in India.