Google Plans to Launch Smart Display for Holiday 2018 Release
Google has always been a bit behind Amazon when it comes to in-house hardware for its Google Assistant. However, despite launching the Google Home a little over a year after the Amazon Echo was made available to the general public, Google has been making gains on Amazon when it comes to smart speaker market share. It seems the company is planning to do the same in the smart speaker display market. According to Nikkei Asian Review, Google plans to launch its own version of the Amazon Echo Show just in time for the holiday shopping season this year. Sources indicate that Google plans to ship 3 million units in the first batch alone. An aggressive estimate considering that Amazon has only been able to move about 10% of that amount, selling about 315,000 in the latter half of 2017 according to research company Canalys.
Room for Improvement
The biggest difference between the Amazon Echo and the Google Home is the assistant that powers each speaker. But Amazon has given Google room to further differentiate itself in the smart display market. First, the Amazon Echo Show does not have access to YouTube, which means Echo Show users do not have access to the 1.3 billion videos available on the platform. The second is that the Echo Show is a rotating billboard of headlines and skill suggestions. As Jared Newman of Fast Company points out, the Lenovo Smart Display takes a different approach. In addition to having the standard features one has come to expect of a smart speaker, it can also act as a digital photo album. Users can even ask the Google Assistant to show specific people, places, dates or albums. The Echo Show has a similar feature, but it dims the photos to make its rotating billboard text more visible. Amazon Alexa is also less adept at facial recognition than the Google Assistant. It could be that Google will take the same approach as Lenovo to further differentiate its product offering from Amazon.