At the launch of CES, Google is very present: the monorails, a stand three times larger than last year, and probably a gigantic pile of news to announce. But before any news about the products, the company wants to fight a little by announcing numbers. By the end of this month, Google Assistant expects Google Assistant to use 1 billion devices, up from 500 million in May.
That's 900 million more than the number that Amazon just gave us for Alexa. But just like Amazon, Google's number has reservations. In an interview with The edgeManuel Bronstein, vice president of Google Assistant of the company, went there. "The biggest footprint right now is phones. On Android devices, we have a very large footprint, "he says. It characterizes the ratio of phones as "the vast majority" of this billion, but it will not specify it more than that. Although he argues that smart speakers and other connected home devices are a notable and growing part of it.
The "vast majority" of these billions of devices are Android phones
In addition to the $ 1 billion, Google points out that Assistant now works in 30 languages and is available in 80 countries. Global active users have also increased four times a year. This last statistic is not Great of course, because we do not know how many users were active last year.
Thus, although these figures are new, they are not necessarily informative. Just as with Amazon, the main thing to remember is that Google has reached a scale large enough to claim to behave honestly. Platform on his hands. The next step is to extend this platform so that it works on as many new devices as possible.
For Google, the next billion devices will come in emerging markets, including feature phones. Here's what Bronstein has to say about them:
Today there are a lot of versatile phones on the market – hundreds of millions. … But if you think about writing, reading and typing on these phones, it's not that easy. And the "voice first" interaction is becoming increasingly important in these markets, and we are starting to see success. We will start talking more about this at the Mobile World Congress, but it is undeniable that voice interaction and assistive technologies are also very useful in these markets.
We will not know all the details of what Google has planned for the versatile phones before the month of February. But in the meantime, given the massive presence of Google here at CES, many other announcements will be monitored in the coming days.