Google is reportedly preparing to launch an Amazon-Echo-Dot-like version of its Google Home device at an upcoming event.
That’s according to Android Police, which cited “a source familiar with the company’s plans.”
Android Police had no additional details about the new device, but noted a smaller version makes sense given the popularity of the more economical Echo Dot, which is $130 cheaper than the Echo. Amazon is also offering a $20 discount for consumers who buy three Echo Dots, so it stands to reason Google, too, wants consumers to buy in bulk and that may currently be cost-prohibitive with Google Home’s $129 price point.
The move may help Google challenge Amazon’s dominance in the growing smart device market. Earlier this year, market research firm eMarketer found 35.6 million Americans use a voice-activated assistant device at least once a month, which is up 128.9% from 2016.
And most of these consumers are using Amazon devices – at least according to eMarketer, which found Amazon controls 70% of the market – and pegged Google’s share around 24%. EMarketer also said it expects Amazon’s share to fall slightly in the coming years as Google’s share grows, but, eMarketer said, Amazon will remain the dominant player for the foreseeable future.
A recent study from digital marketing agency 360i determined Google Home is “6x more effective than Alexa.” But Google’s ability to answer more questions is hardly surprising given its dominance of the search market. Google Home also recently added the ability to make phone calls, which could help boost its appeal.
A report from Morgan Stanley estimated 11m Echos had been sold even before the 2016 holiday season, but it wasn’t clear how many of these devices were Dots. More recent research pegged that figure as high as 18.8m Echos and 15.7m Google Homes. And the smart speaker space is only going to get more crowded thanks to the December launch of Apple’s HomePod.