Google announced today on its U.K. blog that the company’s Chromecast HDMI dongle is now available to customers in Australia, Belgium, Japan, Korea, Portugal, and Switzerland. The device, which we selected as our 2013 Product of the Year, allows users to easily “cast” content (often video) from a mobile device, tablet, or desktop/laptop computer to a television, wirelessly through a local Wi-Fi network.
The dongle’s new international destinations aren’t arbitrary – Google provides some insight into its rationale for the Chromecast’s expansion into Asia, Australia, and the new European regions.
Perhaps most importantly, Suveer Kothari, Google’s Director of Chromecast Business Development , notes that “these countries are home to some of the biggest fans of online content in the world, and the smartphone is one of the most popular ways to access it.” Kothari goes on to cite some specific examples, explaining that, in Korea, a substantial 60-plus percent of YouTube views come from mobile devices, and 9 out of 10 Australians swap back and forth between four separate devices every day. Lastly, Google’s blog post provides a list of “what people around the world might be casting,” from the popular Australian TV series Rake to the Swiss singer-songwriter Bastian Baker. The dongle is available to these new international customers online and in stores today for the usual $35.