Amazon's new Echo Input Portable is specifically built for India
Amazon has quietly launched a new Echo device exclusively for India. It is a regular Echo smart speaker but without a power cable. For the first time ever, Amazon has packed its Echo device with an in-built battery that makes it portable – something that the company says has been one of the most requested features in India. It is called Echo Input Portable Smart Speaker and costs Rs 4,999 as a part of the introductory offer. Amazon says the new Echo speaker is originally priced at Rs 5,999 and will begin shipping from December 18.
The Echo Input Portable has a 4800mAh battery inside that is claimed to deliver 10 hours of continuous music playback and 11 hours of standby. The battery level is indicated by an array of four LED lights. The speaker is claimed to have 360-degree audio, along with far-field voice recognition using microphones, which are in the same numbers as the other Echo speakers, and Amazon’s Echo Spatial Perception (ESP) technology. There are over 3,000 skills in English and 750 skills in Hindi that Alexa can perform on Echo Input Portable.
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For privacy, Amazon has given a microphone button on the Echo Input Portable that can be toggled to disconnect it electronically. The personal voice recordings can be accessed via the Alexa app on Android, iOS, and the Web. Users can delete these recordings as well.
While Amazon has remained mum over the sales of Echo speakers in India. However, IDC reported in May earlier this year that Amazon dominates India’s smart speaker market with a 59 per cent share. Amazon’s India portfolio is expanding rapidly – it recently launched the Echo Flex smart plug-in speaker. The US tech company is bullish about India, which is evident from the kind of investment Amazon has made. Amazon has put money as high as $5 billion into expanding its business in India.
Google, on the other hand, has been struggling to make a dent on Amazon’s market share. It secures the second spot in India’s smartphone market with its products that are not much as diversified as Amazon’s. Amazon’s Alexa is also integrated into speakers from third-party manufacturers, including premium brands such as Bose and Sony. However, Google Assistant is majorly accessed via smartphones.