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Can India Be a Good Market for Google’s Smart Speakers?


Apr. 24 2018, Updated 11:12 p.m. ET

Google launches its smart speakers in India

Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google finally brought its two smart speakers—Google Home and Google Home Mini—to India (INDA), nearly 18 months after their US launch in November 2016. Google’s launch of voice-automated smart speakers is expected to strengthen its presence in India and the home automation space.

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Google’s smart speakers

Google’s Assistant-powered speakers can play music, control home devices, answer questions, and give updates on weather, sports, news, and traffic. Google Home selects content from a wide range of local sources and publishers, including Times of India, NDTV, Dainik Bhaskar, India Today, and Aaj Tak. The company is expected to provide support for Hindi and other languages to Google Assistant.

In India, Google Home is priced at 9,999 rupees, while Home Mini can be purchased for 4,499 rupees. Google’s devices are available online via Flipkart and offline through more than 750 retailer stores, including Reliance Digital, Croma, and Bajaj Electronics. 

For this price, the tech giant is offering a free six-month subscription to the Google Play Music service as well as India’s popular music streaming services Saavn and Gaana. The company is also offering a free JioFi router from India’s Reliance mobile carrier with the purchase of Google Home or Google Home Mini.

India’s market for tech giants

India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. As the Indian government is moving ahead with its Digital India plan, the opportunity to grow in the Indian market increases. With the country’s digital revolution, an increasing number of people have started using smartphones and the Internet.

According to the latest report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (or IAMAI) and market research firm IMRB, the number of Internet users in India is expected to hit 500.0 million by June 2018. By June 2021, there could be more than 800.0 million Internet users in India, according to Cisco Systems (CSCO).

e-Commerce giant Amazon (AMZN) is growing with its offering of Amazon Prime Video and Music content in India, competing against Flipkart and Alibaba-owned (BABA) Paytm. Amazon also brought Echo smart devices to India last October, which is expected to compete fiercely with Google Home.


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