Can Google’s Smart Speakers Get a Boost from Built-In Screens?



Google to launch tablet-like devices

Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google has partnered with several companies to launch its smart speakers and appliances with built-in screens. Through Google’s voice-controlled Assistant, the tech giant is planning to launch tablet-like devices called Smart Displays this year. Smart Displays are designed to perform simple tasks like playing music, changing light settings, locking doors, or setting alarms.

These touchscreen-enabled Smart Displays will be designed by LG Electronics and Sony (SNE). JBL and Lenovo (LNVGY) are expected to help Google to develop its tablet-like smart speakers with screens inside.

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The new tablet-like devices will be launched in two sizes—the 8-inch variant with 2 GB RAM will be priced at $199, while the 10-inch model with 4 GB RAM will cost $249. The devices are expected to start shipping this summer in the US, and they’ll be powered by Qualcomm’s (QCOM) Snapdragon 624 processor.

Google Assistant to take on Amazon’s dominance

Google launched its smart assistant, Google Home, much later than Amazon’s Echo speaker, which debuted in 2015. Apple (AAPL) is significantly behind Amazon and Google, as it is expected to launch its HomePod in early 2018.

Google’s launch of new devices with built-in screen seems to be part of its effort to take on Amazon, which is currently dominating the smart speakers market. According to eMarketer, Amazon’s Echo captured more than 70% share of the voice-controlled market in 2017. According to Strategy Analytics, Amazon’s Alexa also taps around 69% of smart speakers of 3Q17.

According to Engadget, Google has sold one of its smart speakers every second since mid-October 2017. Google has also released several devices related to the service to expand its presence in the market. Industry analysts note that Google’s services such as Google Calendar and Gmail are widely used, further entrenching its presence in this space.


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