Amazon has at long last brought its line of Echo speakers and Alexa assistant to India, making the country the fourth one to welcome the AI. The company’s not quite ready to unleash the Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot to the public though, deciding to embark upon on an invite-only system for now.
There’s a good reason for this select availability, as Amazon wants to fine-tune the development of Alexa in India with a limited number of users first. Eager testers can request an invite via the site and pay Rs 4499 for the Echo Dot, Rs 9999 for the latest Echo, and Rs 14999 for the Echo Plus.
People who manage to score invites will get an introductory discount of 30% off the price of their chosen Echo device and a year’s worth of Prime membership. They’ll also get to try out Amazon Prime Music before anyone else for free. Prime members will additionally get access to the streaming service at no extra cost.
Amazon says it’s customized Alexa for the Indian market by adopting a new English voice which can accurately pronounce local words. It even supports names, places, and music titles in non-English languages. Furthermore, the firm’s drummed up over 10000 skills via local third-party developers.
This list includes brands like Zomato, ESPNcricinfo, Ola, The Times of India, and Saavn. Echo owners will be able to ask Alexa to do things like order food, ask for the latest cricket scores, and request a cab using just their voice.
The Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot can be bought here and will begin shipping starting from the week of October 30. Each will also hit offline shops like Croma and Reliance Digital after the invite-only period is done and dusted with.