Amazon Echo launches across Europe, Latin America
14 Dec 2017
Amazon has expanded the availability of Amazon Echo line of smart speakers and Amazon Music Unlimited service to 28 new countries, reports VentureBeat. The additional markets are spread throughout Europe and Latin America, and include Belgium, Chile, Peru, Poland, and Greece.
Amazon has been ramping up availability of its Echo smart speakers globally in recent months. Beyond the US, UK, and Germany, where the devices have been available since last year, Amazon also launched its speakers in Japan, India, and Canada recently, allowing consumers in those countries to buy the device and use the Alexa voice assistant without restrictions.
It’s also included language support in those countries, adding Japanese and Indian English to the already included American English, British English, and German. However, a number of major markets in both Europe and Latin America are still missing from the Echo’s availability map, including France, Spain, Italy, Brazil, and Argentina.
Notably, Amazon hasn’t added any additional language support for its latest markets.Though many consumers in the countries that Amazon is moving the Echo into speak supported languages — Peru has a sizable Japanese-speaking population and many Poles speak German, for example — the potential buyers Amazon’s trying to entice to buy the smart speaker won’t be able to use their native language to speak to Alexa. That could potentially limit how much consumers in the new markets will take to the speakers.
Not adding local language support is a puzzling move, and could hinderis equipped with only three languages after three years on the market, and hasn’t expanded to any of the widely spoken Romance languages like Spanish, French, or Italian. Consumers aren’t likely to use a smart speaker to buy products — Amazon’s main business, and the primary way it gets revenue from these devices — in a language other than their native tongue. As such, Amazon isn’t likely to see its speakers take off in these countries until it introduces full local language support. Moreover, in the meantime, it’s vulnerable to local competitors.
BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has put together a Smart Speaker report that analyzes the market potential of the Echo Look, Echo Show, and HomePod. Using exclusive survey data, this report evaluates each device’s potential for adoption based on four criteria: awareness, excitement, usefulness, and purchase intent. Finally, the report draws some inferences from our data about the direction the smart speaker market could take from here.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
- Amazon’s new Echo Show is the big winner — it has mass-market appeal and looks like it will take off. The combination of usefulness and excitement will drive consumers to buy the Echo Show. The Echo Look, though, seems like it will struggle to attract that same level of interest.
- Apple’s HomePod looks likely to find a place in the smart speaker market but won’t dominate its space like the iPhone or iPad did.
- The smart speaker market will evolve rapidly in the next few years, with more devices featuring screens, a variety of more focused products emerging, and eventually, the voice assistant moving beyond the smart speaker.
In full, the report:
- Showcases exclusive survey data on initial consumer reactions to the Amazon Echo Look, Echo Show, and HomePod.
- Highlights the aims and strategies of major players in the smart speaker market.
- Provides analysis on the direction this nascent market will take and the opportunity for companies considering a move into the space.
Source: Business Insider