As it turns out, Alexa was right. Almost two years after releasing Amazon Echo in the US, Amazon announced that its smart speaker running the Alexa voice assistant is making its way to Europe. Well, some parts of Europe, at least. More specifically, the Seattle-based tech giant has opened up preorders for Amazon Echo in the United Kingdom and Germany earlier today. The speaker is priced at £149.99 in the UK and €179.99 in Germany while the preorders will start shipping on September 28th and October 26th, respectively. Amazon Prime customers are also eligible for a €50 or £50 discount on their orders if they pay for the device by the end of the week.
This news is rather significant given how it expands the availability of the Echo, which was so far exclusively available for purchase in the US. The plans to bring it to the UK and Germany were announced earlier today at a special Amazon event held in London. During the short presentation, Amazon representatives have revealed that British and German consumers will be able to purchase Echo in two versions – the original black one and the brand-new white one. The latter will also be available in the US as of September 28th.
With the European launch of Echo, Amazon will also open up Alexa's skills kit to more developers who will now be able to work on new features and integration with apps and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. In addition to that, the Seattle-based company has announced that it's partnering with the likes of Sky Sports, Spotify, Uber, and Jamie Oliver in the UK in order to better integrate their services in its voice assistant "living" inside Amazon Echo. Some specific examples of upcoming features that were mentioned during today's Amazon event include Alexa's ability to dictate Jamie Oliver's recipes and summaries of Sky Sports' news broadcasts. In addition to that, Alexa will be able to place Just Eat orders for you and dictate train commute times thanks to its integration with the National Rail's database. Amazon refused to comment on the possibility of Amazon Echo making its way to even more European countries stating that it's currently only focused on launching its smart speaker in the UK and Germany.