On Tuesday, Google revealed their new smartphone “Pixel” and a group of new consumer electronics products for the home, establishing their place in the hardware business and taking on Apple Inc.’s iPhone at the high end of the $400 billion global smartphone market.
The announcements included:
- The Pixel smartphone ($649)
- Google Home (smart speaker for the living room)
- Daydream View (virtual reality headset)
- Google Wi-Fi (new Wi-Fi router)
- Chromecast Ultra (digital media players)
These make it clear that Google plans to compete head-to-head with Apple, Amazon.com Inca as well as manufacturers of phones using their own Android mobile operating system (Samsung).
Google Hardware Chief Rick Osterloh, said that the company can become a better innovator if they can work on hardware and software together. This statement echo’s Apple’s longstanding philosophy.
Google’s new structure
Google has new structure where it has a more integrated approach to the supply chain management and design. The aim now is to combine the learning of one product of Google and find ways where it can benefit another product.
The new Google Pixel devices are designed and developed by Google from the very beginning, which was not the case when the phone was under the Nexus brand. However, the contract manufacturer for the Pixel will be Taiwan’s HTC Corp.
Google also revealed that it will work solely with a single carrier, Verizon Communications Inc. this is exactly what Apple did when they launched their original iPhone with AT&T Inc. the agreement gave Apple unprecedented control over the design of the phone and how it worked.
Features of Pixel are:
- Comes in two sizes
- High-end camera
- Comes in black, blue and silver
- In 15 minutes, the phone can charge up to seven hours
The phone is already available for pre-orders
Other than the camera of the new Google Pixel, the rest of its features are very similar compared to the seventh generation of Samsung and iPhone phones. Google is not hiding the fact that they intend to directly compete with the iPhone, as during the reveal, many Google executives made remarks about the Apple product. However, analyst suggest that Samsung could end up becoming a bigger victim if the Pixel phone becomes successful.
Google licensed Android for free and has been profiting from its own services that are a part of the Android phones, these include search and maps. These services allowed the Android phone to become a leading operating system with around 89 per cent of the global market. However, Apple has still managed to rule the high end of the market.
Why Google produced the Pixel phone ?
Another reason why Google produced the Pixel phone is due to its frustration with the rise of various Androids and the inconsistent experience that has produced. Now that Google is pushing its own hardware, it will most likely hurt its relationship with Android licensees.
Google also showcased the new phones Google Assistant, the company’s voice-activated artificial intelligence system, which emulates Apple’s Siri and Amazons Alexa. The presenter showed how people could use Google Assistant to make a reservation at a restaurant with just a few phrases. Google Assistant will be embedded into the Pixel and Home products and is being positioned as the fundamental feature in a family of integrated hardware and software products. Google Assistant is one of the many voice-activated A.I systems that is competing to reign market as more people are using voice commands to search the web and make purchases. These assistants are most likely going to displace keyboards and touchscreens as the primary means of controlling digital devices.
When it comes to artificial intelligence, Google is the most supreme, however Amazon was able to launch its Alexa-powered Echo home speaker system, which became a huge unexpected hit. The Home device and the Echo have many features in common.
Is Google directly competing with Facebook ?
Google is directly competing with Facebook Inc. with its “Daydream View” virtual reality headset (similar to Facebook’s Oculus). Googles device works with Android phones and it’s a lot cheaper and simpler in comparison to the Oculus. It is expected to release in November for $79, just in time for the end-of-the-year shopping season. Google’s Home devices will also be available in November for $129, which comes with a six-month trail of as-free YouTube.
Google also revealed a new version of its Chromecast digital media player as well as Google Wi-Fi (router), with both devices coming in the same sleek, minimalist design as the Home product. This is so that all the Google products look like they are from a single company and will collectively be recognized as Google.