Information has just leaked out, according to a Mashable report, that Google will launch its smart speakers – Google Home – at a $129 price point, bringing it in line with the Amazon Echo Tap and $50 cheaper than the $179 flagship model Amazon Echo.
The Echo Dot is still cheaper, at $49, and still retains all the functionality of the larger Echo models, with a couple of differences such as a 3.5 mm audio jack and bluetooth connectivity. The Echo Dot is also best used with external speakers if you want more power for your music. There are some great resources online to find the best Echo Dot speaker to suit your requirement.
But Google Home will pretty much compete with the entire Echo range of products from Amazon. It will have search functionality, smart home device control and list and task management built in. Google originally introduced the product at their I/O developer conference this year in May, and word has it that the Oct. 4 gala event at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco will see the launch of Google Home, presumably after Google has unveiled the much-awaited Google Pixel and Pixel XL duo of smartphones.
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Also in May, it was rumored that Apple was working on a similar device to be powered either by Siri or, as TechCrunch assumed, their new virtual assistant Viv. A more recent report published yesterday by Bloomberg, however, suggests that the device may actually feature Siri after all. Apple recently opened up Siri to developers launching SiriKit, an SDK (software development kit) for creating third-party applications. It is already possible to integrate Siri with numerous third-party apps via the HomeKit app on iOS devices, so this would, in effect, be an extension of that.
In fact, Apple has been working on some Siri-centric devices with their own surround sound capabilities that are proprietary to the Cupertino tech major. They’ve been developing two different sizes of gadgets, and have even set up a home theater to test their functionality.
But all that doesn’t necessarily point to an upcoming launch for Apple. Google might well be the next big player in the smart speaker segment with the new Google Home. If Google launches the product on Oct. 4 as assumed, then it will likely be on sale almost immediately, just in time for the holiday season when retail sales in the United States typically starts to peak for the year.
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Image Credits: Google