Amazon likely to introduce an Echo “Mini” in the coming weeks

Take a walk around the CES show floor as we just did, and it’s impossible to ignore the growing army of connected-home appliances and gadgets. Whether you’re talking about a fridge with a screen or a contextual remote to help you control this gear, everyone who’s anyone is scrambling to come out with products for this burgeoning market. Back in 2014, Amazon got a comparatively early start with the introduction of its Echo, an interesting mash-up between a Bluetooth speaker and a virtual personal assistant. The Echo may have been a little slow to catch on, but we’ve recently heard reports of some improving sales, including a high spot on Amazon’s list of Black Friday sales figures. Now it may be just about time to follow the Echo up with a new incarnation, as we hear rumors about a new pint-sized Echo.

The Echo Mini name may be an unofficial one of our own creation, but that’s exactly what this device sounds like: supposedly, Amazon will introduce a smaller, more affordable Echo sometime in the newt few weeks. It could be so small that it would fit in the palm of your hand, while also being battery powered, charging in its own dock.

The smaller size may be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it; while a smaller Echo could fit in more easily with your home décor, as well as being much more portable, a larger model has the benefit of reminding you of its presence, maybe making you more likely to regularly interact with it.

But we can’t see any reason not to like the idea of a lower price, especially with the success Amazon’s recently seen with its $50 Fire tablet; even if the new Echo only drops to something around $100, it’s going to be infinitely more attractive than its $180 big brother.

What’s the pricing sweet spot that would finally tempt you into picking up an Echo-series device of your own? Let us know in the comments.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!