With Google expected to introduce its next generation of Home/Nest smart speakers in just four days at its Made by Google event, the company has started clearing out inventory in a very consumer-friendly way. Android Police notes that some YouTube Premium subscribers and Google Assistant users are being notified that they will receive a free Google Home Mini smart speaker. Those chosen do have to shell out the shipping costs, but that amounts to a fraction of the $49 retail price of the unit.
which has outperformed rivals like Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri. With the Home Mini you can stream music; get the latest news, sports, weather and stock prices; control smart appliances; order a pizza or rideshare; check your schedule for the day and much more.Smart Speakers remain one of the fastest-growing devices in the tech world. During the second quarter of 2019, shipments of smart speakers soared 55.4% year-over-year. At the core of the product are a virtual personal assistant and a speaker. The Home Mini uses Google Assistant
Google needs to clear our its warehouse before the next-generation model is announced next week
will also be improved in other ways. The speakers will offer louder volume and punchier bass, and the Nest Mini will be equipped with a 3.5mm earphone jack and a built-in wall mount. The rebranding of the entry-level speaker follows Google's launch of its Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max smart displays. Other products in Google's speaker line include the Google Home and the Google Home Max.At next week's Made by Google event, the Home Mini should be replaced as Google's entry-level speaker by the Nest Mini. The device will reportedly be a little bigger than the Home Mini and
Amazon created the smart speaker category when it started global shipments of the Echo line in 2015. Amazon and Google had been the top two manufacturers of the device for some time, but during this year's second quarter Google saw its global market share cut in half to 16.7%. Additionally, its speaker shipments during the three month period dropped by 20%. According to research firm Canalys, Google has dropped to number three among manufacturers of the device behind Amazon and China's Baidu.
One company that surprisingly has not been able to benefit from the smart speaker craze is Apple. But then again, the Apple HomePod has had problems since the device was announced at WWDC 2017. Expected to be released in time to take advantage of the holiday shopping season that year, Apple moved the launch back to February 2018. The HomePod has never really caught on since. One reason is the price; originally priced at $349, Apple eventually cut the price too little too late to $299. And yes, Apple did a lot of work on providing the HomePod with an advanced speaker that includes spatial awareness. But Siri is a big drag for HomePod users.
The latest report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) revealed that by the end of June, Amazon Echo speakers made up 70% of the U.S. installed base. Google's speakers accounted for 25% of the base followed by Apple with 5%. But a further breakdown of these numbers shows that over 50% of Echo and Google Home owners had the entry-level version of the manufacturers' smart speakers. This bit of intelligence would suggest that Apple should be working on a cheaper "Mini" version of the HomePod. There have been rumors that Apple is developing a cheaper smart speaker that it plans to sell under the Beats name.
We don't how many Home Mini units Google plans on giving away, nor do we know how long the freebies will be flowing. If you use Assistant or are a YouTube Premium subscriber, keep an eye out for a message from Google.