While Amazon remains the leading vendor of smart speakers, accounting for roughly 41 percent of all smart speakers sold in the second quarter of 2018, Google is gaining ground on its competitor. During this same period, Google-branded devices accounted for 27 percent of all smart speakers sold, compared to just 16 percent in the second quarter of 2017.
One of the ways that Amazon has differentiated itself from Google is by developing a smart speaker with a built-in display. Released June 28, 2018, the Echo Show isn’t an ordinary voice-controlled smart speaker. Although it supports voice commands, it also features a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen display. The addition of a touchscreen display opens the doors for a wealth of new applications. The Echo Show allows users to watch videos, host video calls, display photos and more.
But Google may soon launch its own smart speaker with a display. According to The Verge, Google is planning to release a smart speaker with a display by the end of the year.
Google’s rumored smart speaker will likely feature a similar design as the Echo Show. In addition to supporting voice commands, Google’s device will support touch-based commands on the display. This will allow users to control the smart speaker when they are watching TV, listening to the radio, talking on the phone or conversing with family members. And like the Echo Show, Google’s device will allow users to watch videos and other visual content.
While Google hasn’t confirmed this rumor, an unnamed source close to the project says that Google is hoping to ship more than 3 million units during the initial launch. That’s a pretty optimistic figure, but Google certainly has the resources and experience to pull it off.
Google already offers several smart speakers, including the Google Home, Home Mini and Home Max. Currently, however, it doesn’t offer a smart speaker with a display. Assuming this rumor is true, you may be able to buy a Google-branded smart speaker with a display later this year.