After Amazon launched nearly a dozen Echo speaker models in India in two years, the company added a new variant on Wednesday that addresses one of the nation's most sought-after features: portability.
The e-commerce giant today presented the portable Smart Speaker Edition from Echo Input, a new variant of the product range with an integrated battery. The included 4,800 mAh battery can offer up to 10 hours of continuous music playback or up to 11 hours of standby time, the company said.
"Portability was one of the most requested features in India," said Miriam Daniel, VP of Alexa Devices. “You want to be able to take Alexa with you from room to room in your home. So we have designed something especially for you. "
The company announced that Echo Input's portable smart speaker edition (which still has a mouthful) has the same "hardware architecture" as Echo Input, a device that launched last year and has no loudspeaker.
The battery-powered Echo model, which was developed exclusively for India, costs 5,999 Indian rupees (84 US dollars). Users can currently purchase it at an introductory price of 4,999 Indian rupees ($ 70). The device will begin shipping on December 18.
In addition to the built-in battery, the new speaker model offers a number of identical functions – access to around 30,000 Alexa skills, compatibility with a number of home devices and of course support for Alexa Voice Assistant – Echo variants. (The new model also has a row of four LEDs that light up when a user presses the on / off switch to indicate the battery level.)
Amazon has never disclosed how many Echo speakers it has sold in India, but has found the country to be one of its main markets. At a conference in September, Rohit Prasad, vice president and chief scientist of Alexa AI at Amazon, said that "The adoption of Alexa in India was phenomenal."
Over the years, some companies, including LG, Motorola, and Sony, have added Alexa support to their headphones and smartphones.
The e-commerce giant, which has invested in India north of $ 5 billion, is one of many international companies that are currently committed to making the nation of 1.3 billion people one of its largest markets. To win this market, many of their products and services have to be adapted to local conditions in the country. In September, Amazon announced that Alexa would add support for Hindi to expand its appeal in the nation.