Google Home Now Available in Italy
Google Home and Google Home Mini are now officially available in Italy according to both the Google support pages and a new entry in the company’s store for Italy. The Google Home smart speaker is priced at €149 and if you order today, the shipment is expected to arrive sometime between April 6-10. Google Home Mini is priced at €59, is available in Corallo (coral), Grigio Antricite (dark gray), and Grigio chiaro (light gray). Devices started showing up in stores and online on March 27th.
Italy Officially Added to Product Support Pages
Voicebot reported in mid-March that the Google Home app on Android suddenly included Italian support. However, at that time, the product support pages still did not list Italy as a country where the devices were available and there were no purchase pages related to either Google Home or the Mini. That has changed as you can see from the product support page inclusion of Italy.
Google Assistant Leads the Way
Google Assistant became available to Italian Android smartphone users in October 2017. GSM Arena reporters confirmed at the time that it recognized both Northern and Southern Italian dialects at the time. This week, Italians will also be able to access Google Assistant through Google Home smart speakers.
The sequence of Google Assistant language support on mobile followed later by Google Home smart speaker support will likely become a more common strategy for country launches going forward. Google announced in February that Assistant will support 30 languages in 2018. There is additional engineering required to bring those languages to Google Home devices and logistics considerations for product availability. Google can bring Assistant to market faster by enabling it first on smartphones and then introducing smart speakers into the market when practical. In the past, Google Assistant language support on mobile devices coincided with Google Home launch date for those countries. By bringing Google Assistant on mobile devices to market more quickly, Google can prime consumers to anticipate the smart speakers’ arrival.
More Work for Amazon
The other obvious news this morning is that Amazon now trails Google in another language market. The company began shipping Amazon Echo devices to 89 countries in December 2017, but did not expand the range of language support offered at the time. Consumers in those 82 additional countries were welcome to adopt one of the supported versions of English, German or Japanese.
There were some notable exceptions of countries that could receive Amazon Echo shipments at that time. Italy was among a list that included Brazil, China, France, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Russia and Spain. Our conclusion is that each of those countries were excluded because Amazon intends to introduce Echo devices with language localization. Evidence in support of this argument arrived in March as Amazon introduced the Alexa Skills Kit for France. Amazon led the introduction of smart speakers in many global markets, but going forward will likely be following Google as the company accelerates the introduction of new languages.