Google permanently drops price of Chromecast to $29.99 and what it means for the Chromecast line

Google has decided to permanently lower the price of the basic 1080p Chromecast from $35.00 to $29.99. A note about the price change on the Chromecast’s Google Store page lets us know the new price isn’t just a temporary sale and Amazon has lowered their listing to match. This price change, while not too significant on its own, is interesting in the context of what it could mean for Google’s rumored upcoming hybrid Chromecast-Android TV device and the Chromecast line as a whole.

Putting the 4K Chromecast Ultra aside, the base 1080p Chromecast hasn’t really changed much since its original release in 2013. The 2nd-gen model, released in 2015, changed the form factor from a stick to a pendant and added support for 802.11ac WiFi. The current 3rd-gen Chromecast, which is now dropping in price, was released in late 2018. It, too, didn’t add much to the model it was replacing, with the only new feature being its 1080p playback capabilities increasing from 30fps to 60fps.

Despite the device being mostly unchanged for 7 years, it doesn’t seem like the base 1080p Chromecast is going to be updated anytime soon. A permanent price reduction is usually an indication that the manufacturer, Google, in this case, wants to stretch the existing model’s lifespan but keep it competitive. If Google was lowering the price to try to clear out existing stock for a new model, we’d expect them to just put it on sale instead of permanently changing its price.

Permanently changing the retail price is what Amazon did in 2016 when they permanently lowered the 2nd-gen Fire TV’s price from $99.99 to $89.99, a full year before the 3rd-gen Fire TV debuted. This is also what Roku did in 2018 when they permanently lowered the Roku Streaming Stick Plus from $69.99 to $59.99 and again what they did in 2019 when they permanently dropped it even further to $49.99 because they have yet to release a new version. This Chromecast price drop very likely means we won’t be seeing a new 1080p Chromecast for at least a year, if ever.

The fact that the Chromecast Ultra is still listed at a retail price of $69 and hasn’t received a similar permanent price decrease is telling that it will soon be discontinued/replaced. There are numerous rumors and leaks of an upcoming Chromecast-Android TV hybrid device from Google, but if you were wondering if the existing Chromecast Ultra would live on at a lower price, adjacent to the new Android TV-based model, it not getting a price drop is probably the last nail in the coffin for the Ultra. Considering the Fire TV Stick 4K gives you monumentally more features for $20 less than the Chromecast Ultra and that the Ultra is 2 years older than the base Chromecast, it is by far the one that most needs a price reduction.

With this Chromecast price drop, Google’s 2020-2021 streaming device lineup will very likely be the existing 3rd-gen Chromecast at $29.99 and a new 4K Android TV-based Chromecast to replace the existing Chromecast Ultra. We’ll have to wait and see what the new model will be called, how much it will cost, and whether it’ll be any good. Care to take a guess in the comments?

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10 comments
  1. Reply to this comment with your guess for the name and price of Google’s upcoming 4K Chromecast-Android TV hybrid device.

    • My guess is …
      Short Name: “Google Nest TV”
      Full Name: “Google Nest TV with Chromecast built-in”
      Price: $69.99

      • NashGuy says:

        Yup, “Google Nest TV” sounds like the most likely branding based on the rumors/leaks. I originally thought it would be priced at $69, same as the Chromecast Ultra it will replace, but I’m now thinking they’ll have to come in at $60 to grab much market share given that the similar-specced Mi TV Stick will apparently be priced under $50 while the 4K HDR sticks with voice remotes from Amazon and Roku also regularly sell for $50.

        • The Brains says:

          Recent leaks gives us info that there’ll be 2 versions of Mi TV Stick.

          One 1080p for $50. And another 4K for more than that. They’re saying unbelivable expensive $133, but I’d say the $80 that appeared in the Gearbest listing.

    • xnamkcor says:

      Android TV Chromecast
      or
      Chromecast Android TV

      65.535 USD

    • The Brain says:

      Name: Google ChromeNest :P
      Price: $80

  2. TechyChris says:

    Elias you are correct with your answer, I’m positive I read somewhere that it will be called “Google Nest TV” but I believe in the current economic climate it will retail for $59.99.

    *Completely unrelated but has anyone received an FTV system update that installed an application named “FireTV Player”
    version “FireTv.271.52201” ???
    Sorry to ask here but this the latest post, and for the life of me I can’t find any info on this app or what it does. THX

    • TechyChris says:

      Figured this out if anyone is interested, a recent system update removed the Fire OS “Video” app and replaced it with “FireTV Player” mostly used for playing trailers on the home screen. On my FTV the new app eats up 125Mb+ which is a bit much when storage space is limited. I was originally concerned it might be malware but false alarm.

  3. Ryan says:

    Already have it. It’s called the Tivo Stream 4k. :) $50. Don’t see a reason to spend more for the Google version when it hits.

    • clocks says:

      I suspect google will be better and updating the software than Tivo.

      Anyway, I am ready for some faster hardware. Tempted to replace one of my 4k sticks with another FTV cube, but I hate paying for all the Alexa stuff that I dont use.

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