Google Store for Singapore is now open for business
Alongside the availability announcement of its Home and Home Mini smart speakers, Google has also announced that Singapore consumers can now buy Made by Google hardware through the Singapore Google Store. This is the first Google Store the search giant has opened in Southeast Asia.
The Google Store in Singapore will be selling the following Made by Google products (local shipping is free for purchases above S$40):
- Google Pixel 2 XL (64GB) - S$1,398
- Google Home - S$189
- Google Home Mini - S$79
- Google Wifi (1 unit) - S$199
- Chromecast (2nd-gen, 2015) - S$65
- Google Pixel Buds - S$238
According to Mickey Kim, Google’s Director for APAC Hardware Product Planning and Partnerships, the launch of the Singapore Google Store signifies the company’s commitment to bring more Google-made hardware here. The company is apparently encouraged by the positive response its recent products have gotten from local critics and users. To recap, Singapore is one of the first few countries to get the Pixel 2 XL phone and Pixel Buds wireless earbuds; and before that, many a Google Wifi mesh router and Chromecast streaming device ended up in homes through StarHub and Lazada respectively. And starting April 20, local consumers can also buy the Google Home and Home Mini smart speakers through retail and online stores.
The Singapore Google Store is also great news for consumers who’ve long wanted to get a Google product, but are unwilling or unable to buy it from Google’s existing retail partners. The highly acclaimed Pixel 2 XL is one example: available only through Singtel before today means that StarHub and M1 users aren't able to lay their hands on the phone unless they jump ship (it costs S$1,398 on Google Store, by the way). Google Wifi is another: before this you can only get the mesh router if you also sign up for a StarHub fiber or cable broadband plan. (For what it's worth, my understanding is that Singtel and StarHub are still the exclusive telcos for the Pixel 2 XL and Google Wifi respectively.)
Considering that six Google hardware products are now officially sold here (most of them in the last six months), it makes sense for the Mountain View company to set up shop here. But one shouldn't see this online hardware store and read too much into the product rollout tea leaves: when asked, both Mickey Kim and Rishi Chandra (who is Google’s Vice President of Product Management for Home) said that a product’s availability in any country depends on many factors, and these are constantly being evaluated. I also tried to find out why the 128GB Pixel 2 XL and the 4K-capable Chromecast Ultra aren't part of the lineup (and if they’re coming at all), but alas, I couldn't get a good answer.
(Editor’s note: In case you’re wondering, if you’ve bought a Google product in another country or bought a parallel-imported one from a reseller here, to claim hardware warranty, you still have to go back to the seller or the country you’ve bought the product from. For Pixel, local hardware warranty and repairs are taken care by LG Singapore's service center, which is located at Alexandra Road. For Home and Wifi, users can click on the "Help" link at the bottom of the Google Store site, and follow the steps to contact the Google help center.)