Google and Facebook Get Into Consumer Electronics Too Late

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Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google both want into the consumer electronics business. All that stands in their way is Apple, Amazon.com and a small army of other advanced hardware companies. The two tech firms are too late to the sector to do well.

Google is already in the hardware business with smartphone products. It has upgraded these to what is called the Pixel 3. It also released a tablet called Slate and a home assistant product called Home Hub. While there is nothing wrong with them, there is nothing right. They are priced to be competitive. How will they elbow their way against the Alexa-powered AI home assistant, which already conquered the category, or the iPhone — not to mention Samsung smartphone products? Most people don’t even know the Google products exist.

Facebook is even further behind than Google in the consumer electronics business. However, it released its Portal from Facebook, a sort of video-calling, video-chatting product. It has to battle its way through Microsoft’s Skype, Apple Facetime, video cameras already on PCs and tablets, and video products that consumers already have adopted. Ironically, the product is built with Alexa, which competes in the home assistant business. Google could not even make its own product, at least in full.

Facebook and Google already have huge customer bases that they undoubtedly believe they can leverage to new products and get them into attractive business segments. Those segments are already filled with cutthroat competition and competition that has been in place for years.