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Today’s Amazon Event: Expect Echo Updates and A Little Strangeness

Amazon.com Ltd

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It may become the best-selling smart speaker on the planet, but it’s just one of the dozens of electronics in its portfolio. The company has a history of launching oddball products every fall, Virtually streaming at a hardware event on Tuesday We are expecting because of the pandemic

Amazon

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We’re announcing some, along with new additions to the popular Echo speaker family.

The 4-year-old Echo Spot is one of the most popular speakers in my home. But I don’t really care about what could eventually replace it, but more about the more wacky gadgets at Amazon’s annual parade.Let’s take a look a few years ago: we saw Smart ring Strange specific for whispering Alexa command to finger Sticky note printer It really seemed convenient, and of course, a ring-branded security drone for flying around your home when you’re not there.

Amazon didn’t sell any of these to the masses — anyway, it hasn’t done it yet. However, when Amazon released its first Echo in 2014, there was a time when the robotic speakers that always listened seemed eccentric. Before millions of people installed Alexa in their homes, it looked like a promotional stunt.

Daniel Newman, Principal Analyst at Futurum Research, said that Amazon’s gadgets are skyrocketing: “And they have a balance sheet and R & D spending to take some risks.”

Like home autonomous flying drones, many devices test the boundary between cool and eerie. Advantages of echo speakers Part of the smart speaker market has shown that Amazon can make consumers more tolerant of what they might have approached with caution in the first place. Speakers aren’t an always-open audio channel from home to Amazon, but they collect and send on a regular basis. A fair amount of audio.

The popularity of Amazon devices is partly driven by their low price.During the last year High-tech antitrust hearing, Rep. Jamie Raskin asked the CEO at the time

Jeff Bezos

If Amazon sells Echo speakers at a low price, competition can intensify. “It’s not a list price, but it’s often promoted.” Bezos said.. “And sometimes, when it’s promoted, it may be less than the cost.”

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Inexpensive devices make little contribution to the company’s profits, but it’s a gateway to shopping and other more profitable Amazon services, Newman said.

The Echo Dot costs about $ 50, but Prime membership, including music that can be played on Echo speakers and programs that stream on the Fire TV Stick, costs $ 119 a year. You can also ask Alexa to order additional potato chips from Amazon once the bag is empty. Kids’ features, such as Alexa’s bedtime reading and the $ 69 / year Amazon Kids + subscription for age-appropriate content, build relationships with the brand early on. “That child can be a consumer on his own. It has a long tail of lifetime value,” he said.

Amazon has already announced some new hardware earlier this month.I have Updated Kindle Paperwhite Large screen and battery, USB-C charging, and a series of e-readers Amazon branded TV with Alexa It incorporates the company’s Fire TV operating system. Stay tuned for more gadgets after the noon event.

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Write to Nicole Nguyen nicole.nguyen@wsj.com

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Today’s Amazon Event: Expect Echo Updates and A Little Strangeness

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