India has emerged as the hot new market for companies like Amazon. The e-commerce giant has not only scaled up its operations in the country, but also aggressively pushed its multimedia services through Amazon Prime Video, and products like Amazon Fire TV dongle. One of the key products missing from Amazon s portfolio has been Alexa and its home speakers like Amazon Echo. According to reports though, the company will be filling that gap by end of this year. Also Read - Redmi Note 10S with Rs 1,000 discount on Amazon sale: Check offer details, new priceAlso Read - OnePlus Nord CE 5G, OnePlus TV U1S launch in India today: Event time, how to watch the event
ET reports that Amazon is planning to introduce Alexa Voice Service (AVS), and its Echo speakers in India later this year. The report further says that the company has already begun testing its products through select company executives and analysts. Before launching the product, Amazon is making sure that its Alexa assistant is compatible with the Indian languages — a key factor that has helped Google expand its base in India. ALSO READ: More than the smart speaker, I m looking forward to a smarter Siri Also Read - Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is going to space next month with his brother Mark
According to the report, the speaker will initially understand English, but will soon be updated with support for Indian languages such as Hindi, Marathi and Tamil. Already, a multilingual interface is in the works at Amazon s facility in Chennai. Besides the language support, the company is ensuring the home speaker is capable of performing a slew of tasks like booking a cab or make online orders. However, the company faces challenges in India besides the diverse languages. The report cites factors such as large family culture and two-factor payment authentications as main hurdles. We will work around these barriers using passphrases and other India-specific innovations,” ET quotes a senior executive at Amazon as saying.
We expect Amazon to launch (Alexa and Echo) in the Indian market with very attractive offers in the beginning, a similar strategy used with Amazon Prime Video and something that worked well, adds an analyst. These offerings are likely to be linked with existing users of Amazon’s services in India, making it more appealing for them.”
While Amazon s home speakers are selling like hotcakes in the US, the company perhaps must be encouraged with the growing internet penetration, and improved LTE infrastructure in India. In the US, Amazon owns 70.6 percent market share, but faces strong competition from Google s Home speakers. And now, Apple has also entered the segment with its HomePods. Amazon, in the meanwhile, will be looking to gain the first mover advantage in India. ALSO READ: Apple HomePod vs Amazon Echo vs Google Home: Which one is coming to your home?
Considering India is a price sensitive market, Amazon is expected to give attractive offers on its devices, perhaps clubbing the devices with Amazon Prime subscriptions. However, the initial target audience is expected to be urban customers who are more likely to pay for the services, and have an improved broadband infrastructure.