Update: Google has sent out invites for probable Google Home Mini launch.
Google Home and Google Home Mini might be coming into the Indian market soon according to reports by Gadget 360. The Mini is a basically a smaller version of the Google Home that international users normally apply to situations where there are multiple users within one house. In that case, the Mini works like an add-on for the main Google Home speaker.
As of now, Google Home costs around $129 and Google Mini is priced $49, which is approximately Rs 8,400 and Rs 3,200 respectively. The company hasn’t said anything about the final prices that will be quoted for the Indian market. It also remains to be seen whether the speakers will available online exclusively, or whether Google will launch with offline retailers as well.
The Google artificial intelligence (AI) powered speakers have been around for almost two years internationally and the Google Assistant is capable up handling tasks such as setting up reminders, controlling music, and syncing with other smart appliances among other things.
Google introduced a bunch of languages on to its other platforms, so perhaps, it’s ready to adapt its Google Assistant to India-specific customisation.
There are limited options for smart speakers in Indian market with the main contenders being Amazon Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Eufy Genie and Harman Kardon Allure. All of them run on Alexa, Amazon’s own digital assistant.
Even Xiaomi has its own assistant called ‘Xiao AI’ which featured in Xiaomi’s latest speaker called Mini that launched earlier this week. The Xiao AI primarily supports voice commands in Chinese, so much so that its app has instructions in Chinese as well. Hence, there’s no way to switch voice instruction over from Chinese to English which serves as a major barrier.
The popularity of smart speakers in India depends on the cost, content ecosystem and more importantly, support for regional languages as well as being able to recognise the native Indian accent.
Google apparently has a focused strategy for diving in to the Indian market this year. Their recent invite hints, due to half a donut, at the launch of the Google Home Mini at their event on April 10 in India.