Outrage is mounting in the subcontinent of India as news slowly leaks out that Google will not be selling its premier Pixel 4 smartphone anywhere in country. While the Indian government has not officially commented on this latest move by Google to limit its product in parts of Asia, there are several vociferous trade and market groups throughout India that have labeled the action ‘foolish’ and ‘bigoted.’ They point out that India is, after all, the second largest smartphone market in the world, after the United States.
Google also initially refused to release the Pixel 4 into Japan, but after some hard bargaining by Japanese officials and Google managers a deal was struck so that the smartphone will be available in Japan next year.
The controversy centers on the availability of a 60 gigahertz channel for the phone’s radar facial recognition and gesture app. Without that particular channel availability, the Pixel 4 will not function, and so far the Indian government is refusing to release the channel to Google for smartphones.
Local smartphone manufacturers in India have been partially blamed for helping to block the licensing of the channel to Google, in the hopes of getting the license themselves for their local smartphone brands.