Google’s second generation Chromecast hardware and new Chromecast audio dongles are set to launch here in Australia in the coming weeks with the hardware now showing in the JB Hifi retail system.
According to sources, the dongles are both listed in the JB Hifi inventory system, with the launch expected to come within the next couple of weeks. The dongles are both slightly more expensive than the current $49 RRP of the original Chromecast dongle, with JB Hifi listing them at $59 each. The SKU’s are in the system, with JB using 937278for the Chromecast 2 and 937282 for Chromecast Audio – both of which unfortunately do not show up in a search on their site.
Google announced the Chromecast 2 and Chromecast Audio back at their Nexus 5X/6P launch event back in September last year. Retail availability was limited to a small selection of countries and Google was tight lipped at the time on an exact launch date for other countries.
Chromecast 2 hardware includes better reception for Wi-Fi through the addition of 5GHz support as well as support for Wi-Fi 802.11 AC, allowing for more bandwidth and access to less crowded spectrum, a definite must with video streaming devices. Chromecast Audio enables any speaker with an audio jack (3.5mm jack with analog and optical digital audio output) to play streaming music.
Training for JB retail staff on the new Chromecast 2 and Chromecast Audio hardware is expected to take place prior to the launch, which could take place as soon as this coming week. Point of Sale material is also arriving in JB stores, but appears to have been slow to roll out to some stores.
So far we’ve only been able to find traces of the impending launch at JB Hifi, though there’s been nothing posted on their website. There’s been no repeat of the Dick Smith leak which prematurely announced the impending arrival of the original Chromecast into Australia, so it’s a matter of wait and see when it comes to which retailers will be stocking the new generation of Chromecasts.
As noted by Lachlan over on our Facebook page, Kogan Australia is also offering the Chromecast 2 in Black, Coral and Yellow) as well as Chromecast Audio for $59. The Chromecast Audio and Coral/Yellow Chromecast 2 are listed as ‘Coming Soon’ but the Black Chromecast 2 is listed as able to leave their warehouse in 1-2 weeks.
Kogan will charge you a delivery fee on top of the retail price. If you want to jump onto Kogan, you can check out what they have to offer on their website.
We’ve reached out to Google Australia for comment on the launch, and we’ll update as soon as we have more information.