Battle of the Dongles: Is Sony Taking on Google's Chromecast?

Photograph by Akio Kon/Bloomberg

Google introduced Chromecast, an HDMI dongle for your television during the summer, a device that streams to a television whatever’s displayed on a Chrome browser. Photos, Web pages, Netflix, Pandora—it was a $35 gadget that sold out on Amazon for a time and got plenty of buzz.

It appears that Sony is jumping into the dongle arena this week with an Android powered Smart Stick, according to reports by BBC and in Variety. Sony actually broke news of the device on its blog last week before pulling the post. Here’s a link to the cached version.

A possible reason for the removal could have been the Smart Stick’s reported price tag: $150. Asking customers to shell out more than four times as much as Google’s little plastic stick would give the Chromecast a huge edge, even beyond the advantage for getting to the market first. The Sony gadget is set to counter with plans for more apps for content than Google’s device offers. But still, a $115 price difference could be a dongle derailer.

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