Smartphones prices should come down to $30 in India: Pichai

The focus should be on giving local language support and improving digital connectivity.
The Dollar Business Bureau

Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday underlined that entry-level smartphones in India need to be priced around $30 to facilitate people with the Internet and digital services.
Speaking at IIT-Kharagpur, Pichai said the focus should also be given to local language support and improving connectivity in India.
“I would love to see cheaper smartphones, entry-level smartphones. I think really we need to bring the prices down even more, maybe at $30 level.
He said Google was in continuous talks with Indian stakeholders to roll out many projects under the government’s Digital India scheme. It already has forged a partnership with RailTel for offering Wi-Fi services at railway stations and with the NPCI for enabling digital payments across the country.
Mr. Pichai said he was confident that India could become a global player in digital economy. “I think I am absolutely, with full certainty, convinced that India will be a global player in digital economy and it will be competitive with any country in the world in the digital economy. We have all the foundation."
He highlighted Google’s involvement in various projects to improve connectivity and accessibility across the country. Google’s Saathi, which is used to educate people on Internet, particularly in rural areas, and also to get them online, is one among them.
“English is spoken only by a small segment of the overall population. So just getting Google to work in other languages is a big focus. We have made progress today in Android, with search, we support many languages but we want to do all that better so that it works even in rural situations with the right dialects and so on,” Pichai said.
“We are making a big bet on machine learning and artificial intelligence. Advancements in machine learning will make a big difference in many fields,” he said at IIT Kharagpur.
Google Chief pointed out to a paper published by Google recently, which highlighted that machine learning could be used to detect diabetic retina, which can result in blindness if treatment isn’t administered on time.
“This is an early example of the kind of changes that will happen when you apply machine learning to all kinds of fields. Google alone won’t do this. What I am excited about is bringing machine learning and AI to as many people and as fast as possible,” he added.
The Dollar Business Bureau - Jan 06, 2017 12:00 IST