E-retail giant Amazon on Wednesday launched its voice-controlled Echo smart speakers in India, making the country the fourth market worldwide to get the devices. The company is releasing the new Echo, Echo Plus and Echo Dot devices in the Indian market.
According to Amazon, the Echo-series will be available only via invitation for now. The shipping begins October 30.
“Tens of millions of customers are already using Alexa, and today we’re excited to bring her to India with an all-new experience designed from the ground up for our customers in India. The combination of Alexa and Echo provides customers with hands-free access to music, weather, news, information, and more—just ask,” said Dave Limp, Senior Vice President, Amazon Devices and Services.
Amazon’s Echo devices are powered by Alexa voice assistant and allow the consumers to control music playback, make to-do lists, set alarms, stream podcasts, and get weather, traffic and other real time information by using just their voice. The devices can also interact with third-party services by using something called ‘Skills.’ Amazon has worked with various service providers in India to build relevant skills for the country.
Amazon states that over 10,000 skills will be available for customers in India, including skills from Saavn, Times of India, ESPNcricinfo, Ola, Freshmenu, and more.
Alexa’s voice capabilities have been localised for the market including an all-new English voice with local pronunciations and intonation. It will support music titles, names, and places in additional non-English languages.
Pricing and availability
Amazon notes that Echo, Echo Plus and Echo Dot will retail at INR 4,499, INR 9,999 and INR 14,999 respectively. For a limited time, eligible customers will receive an introductory discount of 30% off the purchase price of Echo devices and one year of Prime membership.
During the invitation period, the devices will remain exclusive to Amazon.in, but the availability will expand to Croma, Reliance Digital and other major offline stores following the invite-only period. The duration of the invite-only period is unclear at this point.