• There has been a rising negative sentiment on web after Amazon fire Phone debacle that Amazon is becoming a worse consumer product company.
  • While I understand the overall thinking but there is nothing wrong with Amazon’s products. In fact, the technology has improved with every product launch with lots on innovations and tech baked in.
  • Where Amazon has erred is positioning, go-to-market & not making products mass-market or reachable to a larger audience in the first go to support its core business model which is drive its platform commerce.
  • It needs to continue its initial Kindle strategy and go full-monty with “hardware-as-a-distribution” model and just think about scale by removing barriers to buy Amazon product & continue to focus on tightly but seamlessly integrate its commerce platform into the devices
  • Having said that, it newest offering the Amazon Echo is a very unique product which aims to bring voice controlled artificial intelligent personal assistant device into your home

  • The BT/WiFi enabled Echo not only plays on demand music, tells you weather information, answers your questions, manages your to-do lists but much more
  • It is basically Siri or Cortana on steroids and she is called Alexa
  • Amazon is basically unbundling the AI out of your phone and placing the personal assistant device in your living room which consistently learns about you and your family and becomes smarter query after query
  • Echo on first glance shows some great promise thanks to the different technologies baked into the device. i.e. from far-field voice recognition, cutting-edge audio design, deeper artificial intelligence integration with the powerful Amazon cloud platform and in future a smarter integration to the entire Amazon commerce platform (which is the key)
  • Amazon Echo is a showcase of Amazon’s technology expertise in AI, cloud and obviously analytics area which will be important to make it a highly contextual recommendation engine
  • I believe the next round of updates or next gen Echo will feature a display to complement voice-enabled shopping experience using Alexa’s smartness
  • The $199 pricing while seems steep for normal users but the power Amazon Prime users getting it for $99 is a decent price considering a similar good brand alarm/speaker dock could cost anywhere from $70 to $300
  • Expect the pricing to come down to $150ish for non-Prime consumers and that should be the right strategy for Amazon to make this a mass-market share-able home product because the “consumer-learning” value for Amazon is the key
  • I think this is a better step in the right direction for Amazon than the fire phone at this stage

About Author

Neil is a sought-after frequently-quoted Industry Analyst with a wide spectrum of rich multifunctional experience. He is a knowledgeable, adept, and accomplished strategist. In the last 11 years he has offered expert strategic advice that has been highly regarded across different industries especially in telecom. Prior to Counterpoint, Neil worked at Strategy Analytics as a Senior Analyst (Telecom). Neil also had an opportunity to work with Philips Electronics in multiple roles. He is also an IEEE Certified Wireless Professional with a Master of Science (Telecommunications & Business) from the University of Maryland, College Park, USA.