The Indian smart assistant powered wireless speaker market doesn’t exist yet. But things are about to get interesting. Amazon is expected to launch its Alexa based Echo speaker in India later this year. According to a report by Economic Times, Amazon will introduce Alexa powered Echo speakers in India by the end of this year.
The Echo speakers in India will be fine tuned to Indian tastes. This means Alexa will not only understand English but also select Indian languages too. Alexa will enable Indians to order a cab, ask a question, or draft an e-mail by directly using voice commands.
Alexa will initially offer support for English interface only, according to the report. Eventually, Amazon will throw in support for languages like Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, and others.
Amazon currently holds a large chunk of the wireless speaker market. That’s mainly because it has been able to ship cheaper variants of the Echo speaker. They cost much lesser than Echo and can be bought in multiples to be used around the house.
Echo speakers will also become an interface for shopping online in India. Now, bear in mind that Indian payment gateways are required to keep two-factor authentication methods at all times. Online retailers have tried to find workarounds to make payments as frictionless as possible.
Amazon Echo For Payments in India
This is where Amazon Pay will come to work. Amazon has been steadily improving and growing its digital payment service in India. It works like any other wallet: Users can load money via credit/debit cards or netbanking, and then easily shop across Amazon using their Amazon Pay balance.
Another interesting area where the Echo speakers will try and shine would be the online groceries market. Amazon seems to be testing the waters with its online grocery marketplace in select markets in India. With Echo, things are likely to speed up as users will find it much more convenient to buy simple things like groceries by just speaking to Alexa.
Alexa already works in India via Amazon’s Fire TV Stick. Although its usage is limited to search only, for now.
Amazon Echo Price in India
As for the price, Amazon’s Echo speaker costs around $179 (Rs.11,551) in the US, while the Echo Dot is priced at $50 (Rs.3,227). Since the speakers are likely to launch by the end of this year, it will be interesting to see how Amazon prices them in India. Ours is a very price sensitive market, and Amazon would want to ship as many Echo speakers in India as possible.
The Indian wireless speaker market is likely to heat up by January 2018. Apple is expected to ship its Siri-enabled HomePod speaker in India by then, and Amazon’s Echo speakers will be selling in the Indian market too. Although HomePod would be at the top end of the pricing segment, while Echo speakers are expected to be on the affordable side.
There’s no clear word on whether Google will bring its Google Home speaker in India yet. But we don’t expect Google to remain left behind, there’s still a lot of time left for the year to end.