The next billion Internet users are going to be very different from the first billion, pointed out a Wall Street Journal story earlier this month. They almost portend the end of typing given that they hugely “rely on voice and video, avoid text, use voice activation and communication with images.” On that note, Amazon is expected to launch its smart, wireless speaker, Echo powered by its AI powered virtual assistant, along with Alexa, the artificial intelligence powered virtual assistant in India this year.
A Google report points out that 90% of new Internet users coming online in India are non-English speakers. No wonder, tech companies are rethinking their products for these newcomers and this includes giants like Google, Facebook and more besides Amazon.
This launch may come as soon as Diwali as per a Factor Daily report, as the ecommerce behemoth makes an entry into voice-assisted computing in the world’s fastest growing Internet market, India.
As per the report, Amazon had earlier planned to launch Echo in India around December but undisclosed sources say that Echo may be launched as soon as Diwali, a major Indian festival season, to coincide with peak the shopping season in the country.
Amazon is testing two variants — Echo and Echo Dot — with some of its employees. Echo sells for $179 and the Echo Dot sells for $50 in the US and will likely be priced around $172-$187 (INR 11K-INR 12K) and $78-$93 (INR 5K-INR6K) respectively in India.
Alexa, Amazon’s New Operating System And The Indian IoT Market
While the Internet of Things (IoT) market in India has failed to attract the mainstream audience so far, it stands at $5.6 Bn with 200 Mn connected units in 2016 and is expected to grow to $15 Bn with 2.7 Bn units by 2020, according to a report by Nasscom and Deloitte.