Indian consumers will finally have the access to Amazon’s premium voice activated Echo range of wireless speakers following the launch of the products on Wednesday.
Echo powered by its AI enabled virtual assistant Alexa in India will be available on an invite-only basis, with shipments starting on Oct 30. It will come in three variants – Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot.
The premium Bluetooth speakers are now available on the Amazon website. Echo Dot is selling for Rs 4,499 while the Amazon Echo is available for Rs 9,999. The Echo Plus speakers can be purchased for Rs 14,999 respectively.
Customers may now request an invitation to purchase devices beginning today. Eligible customers will be offered a 30% introductory discount on the purchase price of these speakers and one year of Prime membership as a limited period offer.
After the invite-only period, Croma, Reliance Digital and other similar offline stores will be the places for the purchase of these speakers.
All these three voice-controlled speakers run on Alexa – a service in the cloud. It offers a range of utilities like answer questions, play music, read the news, set timers and alarms, check the calendar, provide sports scores, control lights at home, and much more. With Echo’s far-field voice control, a user can do all this from across the room using just your voice.
In India, Alexa will deliver a customised Indian experience, including an all-new English voice with local pronunciations and intonation; support for music titles, names, and places in additional non-English languages; local knowledge; and local skills from Indian developers.
Besides English, Amazon’s language scientists are working on Hindi and Tamil support as well, reported Entrackr a month back. Amazon had refreshed its digital speaker lineup last week by launching a new Echo smart speaker and introducing Echo Plus, that includes slightly taller and better speakers than Echo.
Amazon said third-party developers in India are already building new, localized skills for Alexa, and over 10,000 skills will be available for customers in India, including skills from Times of India, ESPNcricinfo, Ola, Freshmenu, and more.
Prime Music service is also expected to arrive in the India market soon. A specific timeline on its launch has not been declared so far. However, the service will be first offered as an exclusive preview to invite-only Echo customers and will later be available to all Prime members.
Dave Limp, Senior Vice President, Amazon Devices and Services said he is excited to bring the product in India.
Google is also preparing to launch its smart speaker Google Home in India and a compact and affordable version of its smart speaker dubbed as ‘Google Home Mini’ at a hardware launch event scheduled in San Francisco soon. With these different launches, both the brands are expected to step up the competition in the Bluetooth electronics category.
Amazon, has committed $5 billion to invest in India, has been lately focusing on launching its global services in the country. In 2013, the Kindle and its variants were introduced in India. In April this year, video streaming device Amazon Fire Stick was launched here.