The company is determined to continue its push into hardware, a long-term plan to lessen the reliance of GOOGL stock on ad revenue. It looks like we’ll see the next phase of that push on Oct. 4.
Google is teasing an event that’s expected to star the Pixel 2, the follow-up to Google’s first branded smartphone, along with other new Google hardware.
Here’s what the rumor mill is predicting Google will unveil in two weeks.
Google Pixel 2 Smartphone
Google released its first-ever branded smartphone on Oct. 4, 2016. The Google Pixel smartphone was manufactured by HTC, but designed by Google and carried Google’s name. It was very well received, even if many analysts felt Google dropped the ball with availability issues that helped prevent the smartphone’s sales from having a material impact on GOOGL stock.
Exactly one year later, Google is expected to launch the Pixel 2. Perhaps in a concession to those issues with keeping enough phones on store shelves, this time around the company is rumored to be splitting production between two different manufacturers.
According to The Verge, the Pixel 2 will be manufactured by HTC — a company whose smartphone business Alphabet is reportedly in talks to purchase outright. However, the larger Pixel 2 XL would be manufactured by LG.
Pricing of the new Pixel 2 models is expected to start at $649 and $849, respectively. New features are rumored to include squeeze gestures (introduced in its own phones by HTC) and an emphasis on Google Lens.
One of the standout features of the original was its camera and to take on the iPhone 8, iPhone X and Samsung Electronics Galaxy S8, the company is expected to leverage Google Lens (recently announced AI camera technology) to make photos taken with the Pixel 2 stand out even more.
Google Home Mini
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) dominates the smart speaker market with a 76% U.S. share, and Google Home is a distant second place. Amazon is expected to introduce a new Echo this fall, and Apple will be wading into the fight with its HomePod in December.
With the global market for smart speakers expected to hit $13 billion by 2024, Google Home sales have the potential to move the GOOGL stock needle –not to mention the fact that they keep owners using Google services, even if it is by voice.
But where Apple is going upmarket with the $349 HomePod, Google is reportedly going the opposite direction with a new, $49 Google Home Mini smart speaker. Amazon has had considerable success selling inexpensive Echo Dot speakers and it looks as though Google is pursuing the same strategy. Introducing a $49 Google Home Mini offers a cheap entry point for those who have yet to buy a smart speaker, but it also offers an inexpensive way for current Google Home fans to blanket their homes with voice-activated Google Assistant coverage.
Google PixelBook and Pixel Pen
The final hardware release expected for October 4 is the Google PixelBook and Pixel Pen.
Google has made huge strides in encouraging Chromebook adoption, especially in the education channel where Chromebooks now dominate. However, when it comes to professional use, laptops running Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows and Apple MacBooks remain the preferred choice.
Google tried to bring Chromebooks to this market with the premium Chromebook Pixel, but it ended up discontinuing the device in 2016. However, with Microsoft having success with its 2-in-1 Surface tablets and Apple selling lots of iPad Pros, it looks like Google is taking another shot at a premium Chromebook, but this time the company is taking the 2-in-1 approach.
Droidlife has details of the new Google PixelBook and accompanying Pixel Pen stylus. The PixelBook is a premium Chromebook expected to start at $1,199. It converts to a tablet form factor. The optional $99 Pixel Pen is a pressure sensitive stylus designed to take on the Surface Pen and Apple Pencil.
With an October 4 date for the Google event, invitations should drop within the next week. And from the leaked products, it appears that Google is continuing to go all in on hardware. Boosting hardware revenue is good for GOOGL stock because of diversification, but every product Google sells also helps to keep the buyers using Google services –including the all-important Google search– and that also supports the bottom line.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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