Smart home products are a huge new market segment, and it looks like the war for your home tech dollars is on between Google and Amazon. It’s Monday, March 5th and Business Insider says an uncomfortable phone call took place recently between the search icon and online retail giant, when Amazon basically said it will not be listing any NEW smart home products from Google-owned Nest on the site. Google’s response? Fine: We won’t sell any of them on Amazon, OK?
So once the current inventory of Nest smart thermostats, Cam IQ cameras, Hello doorbells and so on are sold, well, you’ll just have to get them somewhere else. Of course, with Amazon buying up popular video doorbell maker Ring – and it’s expanding roster of products – this wasn’t hard to predict. Amazon and Google have been having a skirmish for months over YouTube on Amazon devices and so on.
The Future Sound of Apple
Another entry for the not-so-surprising file: Apple is said to be working on some high-end headphones aimed at audiophiles – or, people who at least consider themselves to be audiophiles, which seems to be pretty much everyone. Anyway, Bloomberg reports that Apple has been working on high-resolution over-the-ear headphones that will join the popular AirPod earbuds in the not-Beats by Dre headphone lineup, which Apple also owns.
While sales numbers for the new HomePod hub haven’t been released, it’s pretty clear that audio quality was a primary focus for that device, which has won rave reviews for its sound quality, but not for its $350 price tag. Meanwhile, the AirPods’ price tag better competes with the competition, and currently, Apple is dominating the pure wireless earbuds marketplace. Could they do the same with a high-end set of smart cans? Stay tuned.
Mixing in new markets
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi says they are hoping to enter the U.S. market later this year, or early next year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Xiaomi is the fourth-largest phone maker in China and has recently produced some noteworthy handsets, including the all-screen Mi Mix devices. And while the phones haven’t been targeted at the U.S. so far, they can find their way here from any number of online retailers.
However, Xiaomi will likely proceed with caution after the recent stumble by another Chinese tech giant, Huawei. That company found themselves on the US Government’s bad list just when it looked like they were about the break into the US market in a big way with a distribution deal with AT&T. The deal was suddenly derailed over security concerns. Can Xiaomi navigate their way to US success? Look like we’ll find out soon.
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