AMAZON ALEXA TO LAUNCH IN AUSTRALIA FEB 1ST, 2018
The long-awaited announcement of Amazon's launch of Alexa and Echo has finally arrived. The voice control giant is now offering the Echo range of smart speakers via pre-order on Amazon Australia, with the service set to go live, February 1st, 2018.
The three speakers to be offered first in Australia include the Echo Dot, Echo and Echo Plus. The screen-equipped Echo Show and Echo Spot have not as yet been mentioned.
Local pricing has been announced as Echo Dot ($79), Echo ($149) and Echo Plus ($229). Amazon is also offering pre-order and bundle discounts.
The Amazon Echo range is said to also be available from Telstra, Officeworks, Myer and JB Hi-Fi. Further retail placement will slow Google Home's apparent jump on Alexa in Australia.
There has been much speculation about the local delays for Alexa, which have mostly centered around the Aussie accent. Amazon has said it will deliver an all-new experience for Australian consumers with an 'Australian and New Zealand edition' on launch.
Dave Limp, SVP Devices and Services for Amazon said:
The algorithms that run our natural language processing and our text to speech engine, they all use these modern techniques, the deep neural networks. And to make those work well, you feed them with data. And so we go out and collect a lot of data from customers who help us,
Amazon says this process of collecting local data has taken about a year.
Amazon is also launching its Amazon Music Unlimited service in Australia and New Zealand. With over 45 million songs, it will also launch with over 150 different Australian music playlists.
With the purchase of an Echo, product buyers will receive a 90-day free trial, after which time pricing will be from $4.99 month through to $11.99/month depending on the level of features.
For more information about Alexa, visit the Amazon information pages.