Canada gets Amazon Alexa, Echo devices, Prime Music
Two years after its official launch in the United States, we’ve only seen Amazon Alexa spread in Europe — the United Kingdom and Germany. Finally, America’s neighbor to the north is getting the voice assistant with all the speakers it could ever ask for plus a music streaming service to boot.
The Echo, Echo Plus and Echo Dot are now available in Canada for pre-order at introductory prices of $99.99, $49.99 and $169.99 each. They’re be officially priced at $129.99, $69.99 and $199.99 when pre-orders start shipping December 5. From that point, consumers will also see stock at Best Buy, The Source, Staples, TELUS, Bell, Bed Bath & Beyond and Today’s Shopping Choice websites and outlets around the nation.
As a refresher, the Echo is the core smart speaker of the trio while an Echo Plus bumps up the sound output and includes a dedicated Zigbee smart home hub. Echo Dots spread the connectivity out away from the living room or kitchen.
The brains behind it all is Alexa, taker of many queries and provider of many skills such as search results, smart appliance toggling and information. Several Canadian sources are already putting in daily briefs such as CBC, CTV, Global, TSN as well as Montreal, Toronto and national papers while skills are coming out from Air Canada and TELUS.
Prime Music is also now available free of charge for Amazon Prime subscription holders with a library of 1 million songs that can stream on any Echo device as well as the usual mobile and PC mediums.
By the way, Alexa will have a new voice tailored with a Canadian accent. Can’t give Amazon flack for trying.