Google brings Home to India priced at Rs 9,999; to take on Amazon's Alexa

Google Home and Home Mini speakers
Global tech giant Google on Tuesday launched its voice-activated speakers Home, as it looks to take on devices such as Amazon Echo. The company has chosen Bengaluru-based online e-commerce player Flipkart as an exclusive partner, which has been trying to make its internet of things (IoT).

While Google has launched the platform in India, in the long run, it plans to launch a host of services on Assistant, including direct connection to e-commerce portals such as Flipkart for voice search and sales. 

Google Assistant-powered Home and Home Mini will be priced at Rs 9,999 and Rs 4,499, respectively. It will be available online exclusively on Flipkart and in over 750 retail stores including Reliance Digital, Croma, and Vijay Sales.

“These products have been customised to match the needs of Indian consumers. It understands Indian accents and will respond to users with uniquely Indian contexts,” Google vice-president of product management and general manager of Home products Rishi Chandra said.

He said Google had tied up with firms such as Saavn, Gaana, India Today, and Aaj Tak to stream content through the speakers. Chandra said the company was looking at bringing in support for Home in Hindi soon.

Google had launched its Assistant in India last year, which is now available across android smartphones. Interestingly, Chandra said, the voice-based assistant received around 450,000 marriage proposals in India.

Flipkart, which is going bullish on the sales of IoT devices and wearable tech, eyes 2.5 million units in sale of wearable fitness trackers. “Online share of wearables in India is a whopping 80 per cent. Flipkart commands almost 50 per cent share of this market, driving aggressive growth in this category over the past few years to the tune of 90 per cent quarter on quarter. We plan to sell around 2.5 million units of wearable fitness tech between April 2018 and March 2019,” said Adarsh Menon, head of private labels and electronics, Flipkart.

Last year, e-commerce giant Amazon had launched its Alexa-powered Echo smart speakers in India priced at Rs 4,499 onwards.