Walmart spoils Google Home Mini surprise with release date and price

Walmart has a blue light special today on the Google Home Mini – the new, completely unannounced product from Google that the tech giant was supposed to unveil at its big press event tomorrow, October 4. 

Instead, a pre-order page for the tiny smart home speaker appeared on Walmart one day ahead of schedule and included both a release date for the speaker (Oct. 19) and price ($49.99). 

TL;DR: Walmart really shipped the bed on this one. 

While this is really going to put a bee in someone’s bonnet over at Google, the news is actually really useful. We now have a clear idea of what the speaker is going to look like – spoiler: it looks like a pebble covered in fabric – and a price. 

The $49 price tag sticks it in direct contention with the Amazon Echo Dot, the miniature speaker from Amazon that comes with Alexa built-in, and will make for an affordable entry-way into Google’s burgeoning smart home platform. 

Images via Droid-Life

Product description Redacted

Before the page was pulled down, sites like 9to5Google and Droid-Life were able to get a few of the key features of the speaker. The Home Mini will measure in at 4.53 x 4.53 x 4.72 inches, for instance, and weigh less than one pound.

The product listing refers to the speaker by its codename, “Joplin”, and adds in cutesy little details, describing the speaker as a “powerful little helper.”

You know what’s not cute? Getting yelled at by your boss for posting a pre-order page for a product that has yet to be unveiled, potentially souring a relationship with one of the most important tech companies in Silicon Valley. Whoooops.