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Report: AI-speaker rivals slash prices to win long-term customers

Both Amazon and Google were willing to leave a few dollars on the table this holiday season, if it translates into loyal customers.

Both companies discounted the smallest version of their speakers during the holiday shopping season — a move that drove sales. Prices of the Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini dropped to as low as $29 from $50, according to Reuters.

While the move may have cost the companies a few dollars per unit, both Amazon and Google believe the impulse-buy prices will lock in customers — and eventually profits — from later sales of goods and data about buying habits, the report said.

The strategy could also take a toll on the upcoming launch of Apple’s anticipated HomePod speaker. Apple failed to ship HomePod in 2017, as it initially planned, and now plans to introduce the device in early 2018. Unlike its rivals’ models, Apple’s speaker will retail for $349, Reuters said.

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