In a major win for consumers, Amazon has agreed to buy the company’s HomePod, which is supposed to be cheaper than the competing Google Home devices.
The deal will bring Amazon’s wireless streaming device to the home and make it more accessible to the millions of Americans who use it for streaming music, movies and TV shows.
“HomePods are an incredible innovation that has revolutionized how people get their entertainment,” said Ken Wiedeman, chief executive of Amazon, in a statement.
“Amazon is bringing the experience to everyone.”
But Amazon’s move comes at a time when it’s facing pressure from consumers who want to save on electricity and other utilities costs.
It said in its filing last week that it expects to pay $1.1 billion in annual energy and electricity costs in 2020.
In the U.S., the average homeowner pays about $400 a year in electricity and utilities, according to the Energy Information Administration.
“In order to make HomePads more accessible, consumers will be able to choose from over 100 smart home products, which will offer them all the features that are most important to them, including home automation, smart home control, remote control, and more,” Wiedemann said.
Wiedeman said the deal includes HomePod’s Android app, as well as its Alexa voice assistant, which can control most of the HomePod’s functions.
HomePod is the first wireless streaming speaker to be sold directly by Amazon.
That could be an important step for the company as it looks to tap into the growing market for streaming audio and video devices.
Apple, which also sells a similar product, has already sold more than 200 million HomePod models, and other streaming devices, including Amazon’s Fire TV, are coming soon.
In an interview with The Associated Press last week, Wiedema said he is confident that Amazon can win over consumers who are willing to spend $1,000 to buy an Apple TV set.
“We have a very good relationship with Apple and we have a lot of faith in them,” he said.
“They know how important HomePOD is and we are very confident they will deliver.”
But the deal may have its biggest impact in the U., where the market for smart home devices is growing.
According to the EIA, the U.”is one of the world’s fastest growing consumer markets for smart device services, and it has the largest population and largest wealth of users.”
Wiedema acknowledged that he thinks HomePod is a step in the right direction, but said the company must deliver on its promise of bringing all HomePos to the living room.
“Amazon has shown us that there are ways to bring more HomePoes to people who aren’t using the technology yet,” he told AP.
“The fact that it has gotten so much traction and so much attention and so many people saying they want to buy it is really the beginning of a big leap.”
Wieseman said Amazon is in the early stages of building the HomePop ecosystem and will deliver a suite of apps that will allow HomePops to control the smart home from a phone, tablet or television.