Amazon has re-designed its popular Echo speaker line with a new, spherical, round look.
The “all-new” Echo is in a different, ball shape, touts improved audio and will sell for $99.
The regular Dot, which is also spherical, is priced at $49.99, and the Dot edition with a clock is $59.99
The Echo speakers are the crown jewel in Amazon’s self-made products, with a 53% market share of the smart speaker market, compared to 31% for Google Nest Home, according to Voicebot.ai, which tracks voice computing.
Some 87.7 million people currently own a smart speaker in the United States, per Voicebot.
The most popular of the Echo speakers is the Dot, which is traditionally discounted to around $25 during the holidays. The Dot, along with the Echo Show 5, which adds a video display, were the two best-selling Echo speakers last Christmas.
The other best seller in the Amazon Devices category was the Fire TV Stick with Alexa, which also sold for around $25, and brings an easy way for TV consumers to add streaming to their TV sets.
Fire TV competes with Roku, which has similarly priced streaming devices. Both Fire TV and Roku claim 40 million viewers, making both the dominant players in streaming, which also includes Apple and its Apple TV set-top box, and Google, with its Chromecast dongle.
Last year’s highlights from the press event included a wall clock, Echo Buds, a high-fidelity version of Echo, called Studio and Alexa glasses, which was invite only and never officially went on sale.
Another big initiative announced last year was Amazon Sidewalk, which extends the range of Alexa devices into areas not normally covered by Wi-Fi, is expected to get a lot of attention at the event. Amazon this week updated Sidewalk by mentioning it will actually launch this year.
“With Sidewalk, you can continue to receive motion alerts from your security cameras even when your Wi-Fi goes down,” Amazon noted. “Or if your Wi-Fi does not reach your smart lights at the edge of your driveway, Sidewalk will help them stay connected.”
The new Amazon products are expected in stores beginning in October.
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