A better version of Amazon's wildly popular Echo smart speaker could be coming soon
- Amazon is working on a new version of the Echo that could launch by next year, according to Bloomberg.
- The device could be wider than the current model and may contain at least four tweeters, the report says, citing sources familiar with a prototype of the new Echo.
- Amazon is also reportedly ramping up work on its Alexa-enabled home robot.
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Amazon is preparing to launch an improved version of its Echo smart speaker by next year, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
Details on the new speaker are scarce, but the report says that a prototype of the device indicates it will be wider than the current version and will include at least four tweeters. A tweeter is a small speaker designed to disperse high frequencies throughout a room, according to Lifewire.It's unclear exactly when Amazon would launch the new speaker, but it revealed a slew of new Echo devices last September, including new versions of the Echo Dot, Echo Show, and the Echo Plus. Since the report says that Amazon could launch the speaker by next year, there's a chance we'll see the new device debut around the fall this year. Bloomberg also notes there's a chance Amazon doesn't move forward with the launch of the new speaker.
Amazon declined to comment when reached by Business Insider.
Amazon is also reportedly experimenting with other new form factors for its Alexa assistant beyond the Echo and the other devices currently available. The company is continuing work on an Alexa-enabled home robot called "Vesta" internally, Bloomberg also reported. The report describes the robot as a waist-high device that can navigate its surroundings using computer vision cameras. The company could also be developing Alexa-enabled earbuds similar to Apple's AirPods, as a previous report from Bloomberg had also indicated.
Amazon's Echo line has emerged as being the most popular smart speaker in the United States following the device's unexpected launch in 2014. Amazon accounted for 61.6% of the smart speaker market share as of January, according to a report from Voicebot.ai and Voicify. Google, meanwhile, accounted for 23.9%. The company said it has sold more than 100 million Alexa devices when speaking to The Verge earlier this year, although it's unclear whether those are all in reference to Echo devices.