NEW DELHI: Google has announced the prices of its forthcoming Nexus 6 smartphone which will mean for the first time, there will be a Nexus device that's not meant for the masses.
Priced at a whopping Rs 44,000 for the 32GB model and Rs 49,000 for the 64GB, Nexus 6 will be first Google smartphone meant for the high-end users.
The Indian smartphone industry is grossly skewed towards the lower-end budget smartphones. In a market where devices like Moto G, Xiaomi Mi 3 and Redmi 1S, and Asus Zenfone 5 attract much better sales than the high-priced iPhones and Samsung Galaxy smartphones, it is unlikely that Nexus 6 — even with all its class-leading features — will make much of an impact in the country.
The Nexus range of smartphones has long been known for providing buyers an economical smartphone with top-end specifications as well as stock Android software. Therefore, it came as no surprise that the launch of Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 smartphones was accompanied by consumer satisfaction at getting a great phone at a very reasonable price.
However, by pushing a Nexus smartphone to be priced at Rs 44,000, Google will alienate a large number of smartphone buyers who probably would have upgraded had Nexus 6 been priced more competitively. There is no dearth of buyers in India who want a smartphone with big screen, fast processor and high-resolution camera. Sadly, they have been left high & dry by Google with its latest smartphone.
It's not as if Google's Nexus devices garner huge sales or don't attract user complaints. For example, Google and LG (which manufactured Nexus 4 and 5) managed to sell only 1.72 lakh Nexus 5 units in India since the model's launch last year.
In contrast, Xiaomi has sold a similar number of Mi 3 units in just four months. The reason? Xiaomi Mi 3 has specifications similar to Nexus 5, but costs half the price.
Many Nexus 5 buyers have also complained of problems with the manufacturing quality as well as battery performance as reported by TOI Tech recently.
Of course, this is unlikely to perturb Google because the company never made the Nexus series of products for the masses. It is actually meant to be a phone for developers. Google produces Nexus smartphones and tablets as a reference design for the upcoming generation of smartphones, so that developers can develop apps and features for the device of the future.
Case in point is the QHD (1440x2560p resolution) display of Nexus 6. At present, only a handful of Android smartphones have QHD screens, and even these high resolution displays don't make much use of the extra pixels. All the QHD screen smartphones we have reviewed till now don't show much of a difference in display quality, except for a few more details in certain apps and icons.
Google probably wants developers to make better use of QHD screens so that using this screen in next-generation smartphones makes more sense. And the company isn't wrong in wanting to do so. But in this effort, it is laying waste to whatever goodwill it has gained in the market with its earlier Nexus phones.
Of course, class-leading features like QHD display, Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB RAM, 3,220mAh battery etc entail a high bill of materials, thus leading to such a high price tag. Which also means that average users won't be able to afford Nexus 6.
Therefore, it won't be a surprise when buyers will (probably) flock towards the likes of Xiaomi Mi 4 and Oneplus One once the two Chinese smartphones hit the Indian market.