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South Africans don’t need to jump through many hoops to get Google Assistant on their devices, but it looks like Google is going to officially bring the service to the country — and many more markets.
According to a slide tweeted by Dutch journalist Elger van der Wel, Google Assistant is coming to the Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Africa in 2018 (all the countries with blue colours in the slide).
The slide was apparently shown at the DNI (Digital News Initiative) Summit in the Netherlands.
— Elger van der Wel (@elger) February 15, 2018
If confirmed, it would mean that Google is ostensibly gearing up for expansion on the hardware front, selling products in even more locales. Although we doubt South Africa will be on the list, given Google’s track record of delivering hardware here.
Nevertheless, Google is on the back foot compared to Amazon’s Echo availability. In December 2017, Amazon announced that the Echo was being expanded to 80 more markets — up from seven.
In any event, we’ve contacted Google’s local representatives and will update the article accordingly when we get a response.
Update: Google’s local representatives told Gearburn that they “still don’t have anything” they can officially tell us.