Alphabet Inc.-owned Google on Thursday joined the 'Make in India' bandwagon by announcing plans to manufacture Pixel smartphones in the country.

The tech giant will start local manufacturing with the Pixel 8. It is looking to partner with international and domestic manufacturers to produce Pixel phones locally.

"We expect these devices to start to roll out in 2024," the search behemoth says, adding it sees a greater opportunity to make Pixel smartphones available to more people in India.

"India is a priority market for Pixel smartphones, and we're committed to bringing the best of our hardware and underlying built-in software capabilities to people across the country," says Rick Osterloh, senior vice president, devices and services, Google.

"In recent years, India has established itself as a truly world-class hub for manufacturing, resulting in a thriving environment for businesses to flourish," says Osterloh.

Google says it has continued to enhance the Pixel smartphone experience, and grown its Pixel service network across the nation. "Our local partner, F1 Info Solutions, helps us serve all our customers in India effectively including 28 service centres in 27 cities across India, and we will be expanding coverage to even more locations and cities. Thanks to our local partner – F1 Info Solutions – we now have 28 service centres in 27 cities across India, and will be expanding coverage to even more locations and cities," the tech major says.

"From the very onset of our hardware business, we committed to building and investing for the long run. This is an early step in a long journey of expanding our device production capacity and helping meet the country's growing demand for Pixel smartphones," the company says.

Google debuted its first Pixel smartphone in 2016. "Our journey has been rooted in innovations across premium hardware, helpful software and state-of-the-art AI research. We are proud of our premium Pixel smartphones that are engineered by Google and built with AI at the centre for a more helpful and personal experience. And our latest Pixel 8 series is packed with first-of-their-kind features, all powered by our Google Tensor G3," the Mountain View, California-headquartered company says.

At the Google for India event in New Delhi, the tech giant announced an expanded partnership with the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to help farmer producer organisations more efficiently and easily sell their produce online. It also announced a collaboration with the international arm of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to introduce real-time payment systems via UPI for easier overseas payments.

Google also introduced a local generative AI experience on Search to help surface AI-powered overviews for over 100 crucial government programmes around employment, housing, healthcare, farming, and women's welfare among others.

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