Will Google’s new devices give Apple and Amazon some competition?
Some might say that Google’s big reveal of new devices yesterday represents a me-too move to rivals including Apple and Amazon.com. To be sure, Google management doesn’t share that view and believes the new devices mark the start of new era for the tech giant.
Among the devices being debuted were the new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. The two models represent the first smartphones that Google controlled internally from ideation to design, engineering and testing. The phones, which come in black, a limited-edition blue and silver, are the first to use Google’s new Android Nougat 7.1 operating system. The phones come with a voice-controlled virtual assistant and a 12.3 mega-pixel camera that the tech giant is calling the “best smartphone camera ever” based on its score of 89 from DXOMark. The Pixel phones also include a headphone jack, in contrast to Apple’s newest iPhones.
One possible downside to Google creating its own phone will be a potential weakening of its relationships with vendors like Samsung, LG and others who have been manufacturing Android-based phones and other devices.
Among the other devices Google debuted yesterday was Google Home, a voice-activated speaker to rival Amazon’s Echo. The device, which at $129 will retail for $50 less than Echo, provides answers to questions from Google’s database, translations, directions and streaming music. Home can also manage other devices such lamps and thermostats. The design of the 5.6-inch Google Home is not at all tech-ish, a distinct break from Echo’s look, and is intended to blend in as part of a home’s décor.
Further, the Made By Google product launch yesterday included the debut of the Daydream View VR headset, the Chromecast Ultra streaming TV device and a home Wi-Fi system.
- Meet Pixel, Phone by Google – Google
- Get to know Google Home – Google
- Google unveils Pixel a new flagship phone – TechCrunch
- Behind the Pixel: Google’s First Real Threat to Apple’s iPhone – Bloomberg
- Google claims the Pixel has the ‘best smartphone camera ever’ – Engadget
- Get ready Alexa: Google Home will cost $129 and taps Google search, maps – USA Today
- Hands-on with Google Home – TechCrunch
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you make of Google’s new devices? Is Google ready to provide real competition to devices from Apple, Amazon and others?