Google to Hold Oct. 4 Event to Unveil New Smartphones, Hardware

  • Upgraded smartphones, home-automation hardware to debut
  • New phones may feature Google branding instead of Nexus

Google sent invitations for an event in San Francisco on Oct. 4 where the web company is expected to introduce new smartphones and home-automation hardware, along with other new product upgrades.

The text of the letter, which includes the phrase "Ok Google, add to calendar," suggests a bigger role for Google’s voice assistant. The invitation also features an animated graphic showing a search bar that morphs into the shape of a smartphone.

The product unveiling by Google, part of Mountain View, California-based Alphabet Inc., follows a eventful period for the global smartphone market. Apple Inc.’s new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which no longer feature a headphone jack, went on sale last week. Samsung Electronics Co., the biggest maker of phones that run on Google’s Android software, has been embroiled in a recall involving its Note 7, which are prone to overheat and burst into flames. While the timing of Google’s new hardware isn’t a departure from the past, there’s a risk it could be overshadowed.

Google may also introduce a higher-resolution upgrade to its Chromecast media streaming device and new virtual-reality hardware, according to Android Police, a website focused on the mobile operating system. There are also reports that Google may ditch the Nexus brand for its phones; the company sent a tweet with the hashtag "madebygoogle."

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