Amazon's Alexa-enabled lineup of smart speakers is now shipping to people who pre-ordered the new devices in India, the company confirmed on Tuesday, adding that the Echo, Echo Dot, and the Echo Plus should all start arriving to consumers starting Wednesday. The Seattle, Washington-based tech company originally announced the Indian launch of its Internet of Things gadgets in early October and made the products available for advanced orders through an invite-only system. The prices of the Echo speakers in India range from the equivalent of $70 for the Echo Dot to $230 for Echo Plus, with the regular Echo being priced at approximately $150. The limited presently availability of the devices isn't a result of any shortages or logistic issues and is simply a reflection of Amazon's market entry strategy; the Echo speakers are still in an experimental stage of development in regards to their India-specific applications and the company is seeking to further optimize them over the coming months before making them available for purchase to all consumers.
Alexa will still speak English in India for the time being, though Amazon's artificial intelligence assistant has a new voice meant for consumers in the South Asian country. The voice features localized pronunciation and intonation, the firm previously said, adding that this particular aspect of Alexa will also be improved over time. Indian developers are now able to tap into Alexa's knowledge base to create new skills for the digital companion, with Amazon already creating an India-specific database of information to facilitate the process of making services oriented toward consumers in the country. Developers who weren't able to get their hands on any Echo units just yet can still test their skills on Echoism.io, Amazon's online service designed for this particular purpose which can be accessed by referring to the banner below.
The Echo Dot is a 2016 device from the e-commerce company and is meant to serve as an entry point to its AI ecosystem, with the new Echo and Echo Plus being the latest additions to the Alexa-enabled lineup of intelligent speakers. Amazon is expected to start offering its IoT devices to all consumers in India by early 2018, though it's still unclear whether their prices are meant to rise after the firm concludes the majority of its localization efforts and consequently makes them more consistent and useful.