Amazon Echo Spot, the small globe-style nightstand cousin of the Echo Show, will starting shipping in both the UK and Germany on January 24, 2018. Echo Spot is listed as £119.99 in the UK and €129.99 in Germany. The device was quickly sold out in the U.S. for its pre-Christmas launch, but became available for shipment again before the end of 2017. The launch in the UK and Germany follows a familiar pattern where Amazon first rolls out new devices in the U.S. followed by the UK and Germany.
Smart Speakers Add Screens to Become Smart Displays
Amazon created the market for a smart speaker with a display when it launched Echo Show in June 2017 in the U.S. and later in the UK and Germany in November. Both Show and Spot remain voice-first devices with voice and audio interaction the primary use modality. However, adding a display enables more varied and deeper use cases where video and imagery can enhance the user experience. A use case also includes video calling.
Four Google Assistant partners Announce Smart Displays at CES
The news of Echo Spot shipments comes right after four Google Assistant partners announced smart display devices at CES. LG, Sony, JBL and Lenovo all plan to launch smart displays in 2018. Pricing for those devices has not been released. When you consider their form factors, these new devices will compete more directly with the Echo Show than the Echo Spot. The compact size of the Echo Spot limits its display functionality somewhat, but it also means it will fit in place where the larger displays will not.
This is going to be a hot device segment in 2018. It will be interesting to see if British and German consumers snap up Echo Spots as quickly at their U.S. counterparts did. Let me know if you see stock-outs in the coming weeks.