Some brilliant news for nerds this cloudy Tuesday morning: Google's rival to Amazon Echo is finally making its way across the pond, and we don't have long to wait.
According to Engadget and the BBC, we can expect the good-looking Google Home speaker to arrive on these shores in the second quarter of 2017. As we discussed yesterday, that's any time between March and May.
Google's Rick Osterloh tells BBC that Google Home is coming to UK in Q2, claims its AI skills and vast data will help it beat Amazon Echo pic.twitter.com/qs3oZabak0
— Rory Cellan-Jones (@BBCRoryCJ) February 28, 2017
On the one hand, Echo has had time to establish a user base in the UK, having been released back in September and sold on promotion several times since then. On the other, lots of people unconvinced by virtual home assistants will have been waiting to see what early adopters thought of the devices, and the entry of Google into the market might act as a catalyst for the whole category. It's a bit like Apple blowing up tablet sales with the iPad: there were already models on sale, but theirs undoubtedly sparked the revolution.
Google Home is a beautiful, well-designed device, and has the benefit of being backed by a company that's already a big part of people's lives. Amazon can say the same, of course, but the sales angle puts some people off, assuming the Echo is Jeff Bezos' stooge in your living room, trying to sell you stuff by stealth.
We don't yet have UK pricing for Google Home, but it costs $129 in the US. That comes out to £103, but judging by current cross-Atlantic pricing, we can probably expect to just swap in a pound sign on the US price. £129 would still be £30 cheaper than the full version of Amazon Echo, which might be bad news for Amazon.
Alexa vs Google: it's on. [Engadget]