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WSJ Reports that Amazon is Preparing to Launch Next-Gen Echo

1af 99 cover amazon echo


In February Patently Apple posted a report titled "Amazon Reportedly Working on bringing both a Display and Possibly Telephony to Next-Gen 'Echo' Home Device." It's now being reported that Amazon.com is due to unveil a new Echo speaker with a screen that will incorporate video calling capabilities, keeping the online retailer one step ahead of tech rivals in seeking to control smart homes.


The Wall Street Journal reports that "The new device, which is expected to be announced as early as Tuesday, will also allow users to make internet-based telephone calls, according to these people, setting the speaker up to be core to a home's communications.


Equipped with a 7-inch touch screen, the device will be able to visually summon answers to verbal questions, providing information like e-commerce search results in a more digestible fashion. The new Echo, which has been in beta testing with employees for a few months, could start shipping to consumers as early as next month.


Amazon is in a broader race with a number of tech giants to create and install speakers using digital assistants to eventually run homes, cars and offices. Alphabet Inc.'s Google Home is the biggest competitor so far to Amazon and its Alexa digital assistant.


Microsoft Corp. on Monday introduced its new voice-controlled speaker, Invoke, made by Samsung Electronics Co., that can make phone calls. Consumers are able to use devices like the Echo and Google Home to turn off lights, close the garage door, lower the temperature and -- in Amazon's case -- order online. But none have expanded their speaker devices to include screens yet."


On April 28 we reported that Foxconn is opening a new production facility to beef up Amazon Echo production for the holiday quarter. Over the weekend we also posted a report titled "Apple's SVP Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller thinks that Echo-Like Devices should have a Display."


The most common photos of the new Amazon Echo floating around the web are noted below. Whether the photo is a leaked photo of the actual product or just a concept design is unknown at this time.


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