India is clearly the next battleground for smart speakers. Shortly after Amazon launched its Alexa-powered Echo devices there, Google has followed suit with its Google Home and Google Home Mini.
The speakers are being sold for Rs 9,999 and Rs 4,499 respectively (around $154 and $69). “Google Home understands Indian accents, and will respond to you with uniquely Indian contexts,” explained Google’s Rishi Chandra in a blog post.
For now, that means English-language – Hindi will follow later this year in the speakers’ Google Assistant voice-assistant – although it will understand Indian film titles and local slang.
The speakers ship with a six-month free trial of the Google Play Music subscription service, but Google also says there will be offers on rival streaming services Saavn and Gaana running until the end of October.
Google has signed an exclusive deal with e-commerce site (and keen Amazon rival) Flipkart for online sales of the speakers in India, but they’ll also be sold in more than 750 retail stores across the country.
With Amazon and Google now going head-to-head in India with their respective smart speakers, we’ll be keen to see how sales go in the country. Read our recent smart speakers report for more on this sector.