Taiwanese suppliers have reportedly been told to prepare themselves as Google readies itself to release a smart speaker with a display in time for Christmas, according to a report by Nikkei. The new device is being released to go toe-to-toe with the Amazon Echo Show, and will join the Google-made range alongside the Google Home, Google Home Mini, and Google Home Max.
A source with knowledge on the matter told Nikkei:
“Google targets to ship some 3 million units for the first batch of the new model of smart speaker that comes with a screen. It’s an aggressive plan.”
For comparison, Amazon released the Echo Show last summer and managed to sell just 315,000 units in 2017, according to Canalys. For the whole of 2017, 35 million smart speakers were shipped worldwide with Amazon making up 63% of sales and Google controlling 32%. During the months from January to March 2018, Google picked up controlling 36% of the 9 million units shipped in the period, while Amazon slipped to 28%.
According to sources, the display-equipped speaker will be assembled by Pegatron, an iPhone assembler and smaller rival of Foxconn. Compal Electronics will also help Google manufacture the new speakers. Apparently, Quanta Computer, a builder of MacBooks, is working with Google on a tablet that may also be unveiled this year, and Foxconn is apparently building the next Pixel phone which could be released in October.
While this is the first Google-branded smart speaker with a screen, it's not the first to come with Google Assistant built in. Lenovo recently launched an 8-inch and a 10-inch Lenovo Smart Display which retails for $199 and $249 respectively. Devices with displays have the added benefit of being able to show you relevant information rather than just telling you about it.