Google will not launch its newest Pixel 4 smartphone in India, the company has said, disappointing consumers with a decision reportedly based on its refusal to disable a feature that uses a radar frequency barred in the South Asian nation.
Hours after the Alphabet-owned internet giant unveiled its latest handsets featuring motion-sensing capabilities and a ramped-up camera, the firm told an Indian Twitter user the phone would not be sold in the country. "We decided not to make Pixel 4 available in India," Google tweeted late Tuesday from an official company account, without giving a reason for the decision.
"We remain committed to our current Pixel 3a phones and look forward to bringing future Pixel and other hardware products to India."
The move sparked speculation that the new phone's motion-sensing radar technology called "Soli" - which operates on a frequency not allowed for civilian use in India - was responsible for the decision.
Google has touted "Motion Sense" as a key feature of the Pixel 4, which will allow users to skip songs, turn off alarms, and silence phone calls simply by waving their hands.
Google's Brian Rakowski said in a statement that the feature is enabled in all the markets where the Pixel 4 will be sold, "except in Japan where it's coming soon".
The statement did not say why the function will not be enabled at launch in Japan.
Japan's Kyodo news agency reported that Motion Sense will not be available in the country "until next spring".
No such indication was given for the Indian market, fuelling frustration among Pixel fans in the country.
Google would have to get approval to enable the radar-based function in every country where it wants to sell the Pixel 4, according to the technology website The Verge.