Google reportedly working on Echo Show competitor

The tabletop smart screen may debut as early as this year, TechCrunch reports.

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Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Amazon's Echo Show may soon get some competition from Google.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Google is working on a tabletop smart screen for video calls that will take on Amazon's Echo Show, TechCrunch reported Thursday.

The device, internally codenamed "Manhattan," will have a similar screen size to the 7-inch Echo Show, people familiar with the matter told the tech site. The device, which may run a version of Android, was expected to be released in mid-2018, but there is pressure to release it as soon as this year, TechCrunch reported.

Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The report emerges just a day after Amazon unveiled a slew of new Echo devices, all enabled to run Alexa, the internet retailer's voice assistant. Google is trying to catch up with Amazon, which created the smart speaker market when it unveiled the Echo in 2014. For now, Amazon has a big lead, capturing seven out of every 10 smart speaker customers in the US, according to eMarketer. Google is a distant second.

Amazon increased the pressure Wednesday, when it showcased new products in the Echo lineup, including a new Echo, the Echo Plus,the Echo Spot and the Echo Connect. The additions appear to reflect Amazon's desire to create new forms for Alexa so customers won't be wooed away.

Google and Amazon have spatted in recent days after Google's YouTube vanished from the Echo Show earlier this week. The dispute apparently centers on how the video-sharing site is presented on Amazon's smart speaker. 

Predictably, both sides blame each other.

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