Today before their gigantic booth opens at CES 2019, Google announced a pretty incredible statistic regarding the Google Assistant: it’s about to become available on over one billion devices worldwide. It’s mostly thanks to the large number of compatible phones the Assistant ships with, but there was also a huge explosion last year when it came to the Google Home which Google says had a “record year.”
“By the end of this month, we expect the Google Assistant to be available on one billion devices, up from 500 million last May,” said Scott Huffman, VP of engineering in the Google Assistant department in a blog post.
But that’s not all. To further expand the reach of the Assistant, Google says it wants to target feature phones next. The Verge obtained a statement from Manuel Bronstein, VP of Google Assistant, during an interview where he expressed Google’s interest in tackling lower-end cell phones.
There are large, large numbers of feature phones in the market today — hundreds of millions. … But if you think about writing, reading, and typing on those feature phones, it’s not that simple. And the voice-first interaction is becoming increasingly important in those markets, and we’re beginning to see traction there. We’re going to start talking more about that at Mobile World Congress, but definitely, there’s a massive opportunity for voice interaction and assistive technology in those markets as well.
It’s clear Google wants the Assistant to be everywhere, and we plan to hear much more regarding Google’s plans over the coming days as CES 2019 kicks into full gear. Stay tuned for updates on this topic.