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Jefferies analyst, Brian Fitzgerald, reiterated his Buy rating on shares of Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) ahead of a slew of product announcements expected on 10/4.
Among the expected announcements are two new flagship smartphones designed to directly compete with the iPhone, a strategically important Bluetooth speaker that responds to voice commands, a new Chromecast audio / video streaming device, and a new OS called Andromeda, which will merge Chrome with Android.
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is expected to debut two new flagship smartphones called Pixel and Pixel XL. Designed to compete more directly against devices like the iPhone, the Pixel devices should reflect Google's new "more opinionated" view around hardware and software design. At an expected $650 price point they will be significantly more expensive than the Nexus devices ($350-500 ballpark) they are ostensibly replacing. The phones will allegedly be manufactured by HTC and will feature 5" and 5.5" screens, aluminum and glass construction, and even a headphone jack.
Google Home is a Bluetooth speaker that will compete with the Amazon Echo. The speaker will feature Google Assistant, which is Google's answer to Siri (Apple) and Alexa (Amazon). Like those competitive services, Google Assistant will understand human speech (although Google has an edge given its prowess in voice search). The API is not open to third-parties yet but Google says the speaker will work with a limited set of hardware devices at launch, likely the Nest Thermostat and Chromecast. The device will reportedly cost $129, or $50 less than the Amazon Echo.
Chromecast Ultra is an upgrade to the original Chromecast, which cost $35 and has sold 30MM units since launch in 2013. Like the original, Chromecast Ultra is a Wi-Fi enabled device that connects to a TV to wirelessly stream videos and music from mobile and computing devices.
No change to the price target of $1,000.
Shares of Google closed at $804.06 yesterday.
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