When Google Home was announced last year, there was talk about the Amazon Echo finally meeting its match. The original smart speaker with a famed built-in virtual assistant, Alexa, was finally getting real competition. But as a good as a device the newer release is, it still has two years of catching up to do - but there might be room to cut some corners.
The Amazon Echo is still, as C|Net claims, the leader of the voice assistant market. And while there have not been any official numbers have been provided by the online retail giant, an estimated 10 millions of the device have been sold. So even when Google decided to produce and release the Google Home, the company knew it had odds to cross over.
But as the publication notes, a recent survey indicated that Google Home is not that far behind the Amazon Echo in terms of consumer preference. Likewise, the initial lead may not last as long as various publications had estimated. Nevertheless, there are steps that the search engine giant can and will possibly take to ensure this.
Currently, the Google Home comes in several color options, but there are no choices when it comes to the size and shape of the device. This, while slightly trivial, does limit a consumer's choice. Meanwhile, the Amazon Echo Dot offers a secondary, smaller model with all the perks of its predecessor. More importantly, however, a smaller unit cuts the price of the device by a significant and sometimes necessary percentage.
By presenting a smaller version of Google Home, the company will be able to reach an audience that is still doubtful of the industry or simply cannot afford or are not willing to pay for the US$130 price tag. Those not willing to spend over a hundred dollars on the market will automatically reach out for the Amazon Echo Dot - without second thoughts and without doubts. Logically, the search engine should provide more pricing options.
Google will also need to continue the connectivity and development of the Home's entertainment features. Currently, the smart speaker can connect to the company's TV streaming system, Chromecast. At this point, however, it still cannot browse for YouTube videos and not all television sets is compatible with the system.
This entertainment feature is already one of the items that set Google Home apart from the more veteran player. The Echo and the Dot currently do not work directly with the Amazon Fire TV. Thereby, Google will need to keep pushing in order to keep its edge above its strongest competition.
Google undoubtedly has a few tricks up its sleeve - the only question is what and when the company will decide to pull them out. But what could be more important is that the search engine giant has such a large user base, which has great trust in the branding. This alone might be enough to push individuals to purchase its products above other offerings.
The virtual assistant market, however, is still growing beyond Google Home and the Amazon Echo. As Android Guys notes, Lenovo released its own bet into the market, the Lenovo Smart Assistant. However, the company decided to take a page from Amazon and installed Alexa to power the device.