In short: While Google's annual hardware event where the Pixel 3 flagships and many other consumer electronics are set to be introduced is only a week away, Alphabet's subsidiary isn't saving all of its announcements for the Paris happening, having just unveiled a new addition to the Home Mini lineup of affordable smart speakers. Called Aqua, the latest variant of the speaker is identical to the existing gadgets, save for sporting a bright blue fabric covering its top. It's otherwise made of the same materials and will be priced at $49, much like the existing Coral, Chalk, and Charcoal versions. The Google Home Mini Aqua will become available for purchase later this month, with the Google Assistant-powered speaking being set to be retailed by both the Google Store and Walmart.
Background: As is the case with other versions of the Home Mini, Google's new product likely won't be available globally, though that isn't to say it will only be sold in North America. The firm has been discounting its most affordable smart speaker ever on a consistent basis ever since introducing it last year and the Aqua version of the device will likely take part in similar promotions going forward, especially as the holiday season approaches. Google's next annual hardware event is taking place on Tuesday, October 9, with all consumer electronics scheduled to be announced at the gathering being expected to start retailing by the end of the month, alongside the Home Mini Aqua. The new speaker variant may also end up being bundled with Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL pre-orders, though the company is believed to be speaking the Really Blue finish with its 2018 smartphones.
Impact: As the Home Mini Aqua and Google Home Hub appear to be the company's only 2018 smart speaker releases, it appears the tech juggernaut won't be following suit with Amazon who just recently expanded its smart home ecosystem with a wide variety of new products, from speakers and amplifiers to wall clocks and microwaves.