Jul 25, 2017

Facebook may start selling smart speakers

Noah Berger / AP

Facebook is developing a smart speaker with 15-inch touch panel, Digitimes reports. Sources said the screen is Facebook's primary focus. The device will be manufactured by Pegatron Technology for release in the first quarter of 2018, with small-volume production already underway in China. LG Display will supply the touch panel.

Why it matters: Smart speaker devices are ripe for tech companies that have the data and scale to filter massive amounts of search queries.

Facebook joins a competitive smart speaker market: Per Axios' Kim Hart, the use of voice-activated digital assistant devices will spike nearly 130% this year, with Amazon's Echo in the lead with 70.6% of the market, according to eMarketer. Google Home trails behind with 23.8% of users, while others (Lenovo, LG, Harmon Karon and Mattel) share the remaining 5.6% of users. Apple is set to bring its HomePad to the market this year.

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