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Google's Chromecast coming to India

The launch of the Internet giant's streaming device is the latest example of Google's push into the second most populous country in the world.

Google's Chromecast launch in India is only the latest example of the company's push in that country. CNET

Google is bringing its Chromecast streaming stick to India, as the Internet giant focuses on the large and growing consumer market there.

The device, which looks like a USB flash drive, lets people stream videos from the Internet to a television from a laptop, phone or tablet. Currently, the device works in more than 10 countries, including the United States, Germany and Denmark.

For the India launch, Google has partnered with Bharthi Airtel, India's largest mobile carrier, to allow mobile devices to stream the online videos.

The expansion to India is only Google's latest effort to gain traction in the country, an important region as tech giants in the United States aim to extend their reach to emerging markets. In October, the company launched its Android One program in India. The initiative is Google's attempt to bring high-quality, affordable Android smartphones to developing countries by guiding handset makers in what components to include in their hardware. For that launch, Google partnered with Airtel as well.

Google isn't the only company that sees an opportunity there. India has been a key battleground for Apple and Samsung in the smartphone wars. Samsung is the leading handset maker in the in the country, according to IDC. Microsoft also has designs on developing markets. It has has eliminated fees for its Windows Phone and struck deals with some low-cost manufacturers like India's Micromax.

"Customers in India are showing an increasing preference for convergence of their laptop, smartphone, tablet, and TV screens," Anand Chandrasekaran, chief product officer of Bharthi Airtel, said in a statement.

Google did not respond to a request for comment.

The Chromecast will cost 2,999 rupees, or around $50, in India. It cost $35 in the United States. As part of the launch, Airtel will give customers 60 gigabytes of free data over three months with their broadband plans.

The device will be available in India starting December 10 from Google's Play Store, Airtel or the India e-commerce site Snapdeal. At launch, the device will support YouTube, Google Play Movies and Google Play Music, as well as apps from local partners like Eros Now, Spuul and Yupptv.