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Google Introduces Smart Speakers in India, Expands Business


Alphabet’s Inc. GOOGL division, Google recently launched two voice automated smart speakers Google Home and Google Home Mini. The move is likely to help Google bolstered its presence in India.

Indian customers will now be able to play songs, listen to audiobooks, customize daily schedule, get updates on weather, traffic, finance, sports and watch movies on television in conjunction with Chromecast through the voice automated service.

With the launch of these products, Google expects to expand its share in the home automation market.

Google Home purchase comes with exciting offers like free JioFi router and music subscriptions from Gaana and Saavn. The company is focused on making daily life easier by incorporating Google Assistant in the speakers. Hence, the company’s customer base is likely to increase which will generate more revenues.

Coming to the price performance, shares of Alphabet have returned 22% over a year, outperforming the industry’s rally of 6.3%.

Price and Availability

Google Home and Google Home Mini are priced at INR 9,999 and INR 4,499, respectively. They are available offline at retail stores like Reliance Digital, Bajaj Electronics and many more and online via Flipkart.

India Holds Promise

Google has entered the home automation market of India and has expanded its product offering in the country. India’s internet user base is increasing rapidly and this will open new opportunities for the company.

Per a report from Research and Markets, the home automation market in India is expected to reach INR 30,000 crore by 2022.

Along with smart speakers, the company unveiled its Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones in the country.

We believe India remains an important market for Google and many other global technology firms to expand their business which is attributed to the country’s ongoing digital revolution.

The company opened its first outside R&D center in Bangalore by taking the advantage of India’s growing number of engineers.

Additionally, Google has rolled out free Wi-Fi services in many railway stations of the country by taking part in the government’s “Digital India” plan.

Hence, we believe the company has strengthened its footprints in the country and generated revenues by taking significant initiatives for India. As quoted by Economic Times, Google’s Indian unit generated almost $1.11 billion in 2017, reflecting 22% year-over-year growth.

Improving Competition Against Amazon

The ongoing competition between the two tech giants Google and Amazon AMZN is intensifying day by day. Google’s latest launch has improved its competitive position against Amazon in India.

Google Home is the company’s support to fight against the Amazon Echo which got was launched early this year in the country. Both are available at same price and same offline stores.

Amazon has started offering Echo products at special discounts in order to attract customers following the news of Google’s launch of these products.

With Echo, Amazon entered the market of smart speakers first and thus enjoys a greater market share as compared to Google’s Home, aided by its first mover advantage. However, during the recent holiday season Home gained traction and witnessed a significant rise (25%) in its market share and Echo suffered a sharp fall (almost 70%) in its share.

We believe with the diversified product portfolio, Google has been strengthening its competitiveness against Amazon. Products like Google Play Audiobook against Amazon’s Audible, Nest against Alexa, Google Cloud against Amazon Web Services and many more.

To Conclude

Strong focus of the company toward innovation is driving the strength of its product portfolio. Moreover, these products are helping the company to diversify its business from the mainstream service.

We believe the company is well positioned to perform well and reap benefits in all its geographical regions aided by its robust product portfolio.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Currently, Alphabet carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Investors interested in the broader technology sector can consider some better-ranked stocks like Autohome ATHM and Marchex MCHX. While Autohome sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Marchex carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth rate for Autohome and Marchex is currently pegged at 33.48% and 15%, respectively.

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