Google is rumored to be launching its very own smart speaker with a built-in screen, according to a new report. The report cites sources within the supply chain, and claims that Google is preparing this product for the holiday season, with “targets to ship some 3 million units for the first batch of the new model of smart speaker that comes with a screen.”
The smart speaker would reportedly be positioned as a direct competitor to the Amazon Echo Show and to similar products from the Chinese retail conglomerate Alibaba — two of Google’s greatest rivals in the artificial intelligence and data-mining industries. Until now, Google has depended on partners such as Lenovo Group, JBL, LG Electronics, and Sony to launch products using its Smart Display platform, which gives smart speakers the ability to include displays.
But if Google does indeed roll out its own Echo Show competitor, it would help the company round out its Google Home range of smart speakers, all of which use the company’s voice-controlled artificial intelligence Google Assistant.
As it stands, Google offers three of its own-branded smart speakers without displays: Google Home, Home Mini, and the high-end Home Max, mostly competing with Amazon’s Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Plus, respectively. But Amazon has also cemented itself as a leader of producing smart speaker products that include a display, which provide additional information in response to the queries made using voice commands. The company’s Echo Spot and Echo Show each have an embedded screen that can display things like videos, photos, and images that could be helpful when searching for information using your voice.
After debuting, the Echo Show was a major hit among most major tech reviewers — until Google removed the YouTube app from the platform in September 2017. Variety reported in October 2017 that publicly available data suggested Echo Show sales sharply declined after Google decided to remove YouTube from the platform.