Alexa Skills Kit Italy

Amazon Alexa Skills Kit Arrives in Italy

Amazon announced yesterday in a blog post that its developer SDK Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) is now available in Italian. Amazon’s Noemie Cornu stated that ASK is available today and that skills created and certified now will be available when Amazon Echo launches in the country which is planned for sometime in 2018.

“Today we are pleased to announce that developers can start creating voice experiences for customers in Italy using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) immediately. The skills created by the developers will be available to customers from the moment Alexa will be present in Italy, by the end of the year.”

Letting Developers Get a Head Start

This follows a now familiar pattern for Amazon to announce ASK for developers in advance of the smart speaker product launch. Amazon announced ASK availability for Australia 64 days before Echo devices shipped in the country. For France, the delay was longer at 112 days. France is probably the better analogy as it marked the introduction of a new language. Australia could benefit from English-language skills already developed for the U.S. and U.K. markets. The French-speaking market was starting from scratch.

Italy is in a similar situation. A 112-day wait would suggest an Italy product launch of October 9th. That falls within a typical pattern of late September and early October product launches in advance of the holiday shopping season. Below is a chart that shows smart speaker launches and announced availability by country for Amazon, Apple and Google.

Country Amazon Echo Google Home Apple HomePod
Australia 2018 2017 2018
Canada 2017 2017 2018
Denmark TBD 2018
France 2018 2017 2018
Germany 2016 2017 2018
India 2017  2018
Ireland 2018
Italy TBD 2018  2018
Japan 2017 2017
Korea TBD 2018
Mexico TBD 2018
Netherlands TBD 2018
New Zealand 2018
Norway TBD 2018
Singapore 2018
Spain TBD 2018 TBD 2018
Sweden TBD 2018
United Kingdom 2016 2017 2018
United States 2014 2016 2018

Sonos and Bose Both Coming to Italy with Alexa Onboard

The announcement also said that, “in addition to the Echo family of devices, Sonos and Bose have also announced that they will distribute products with Alexa integration in Italy by the end of the year.” And, Cornu commented, “Manufacturers of commercial hardware that develop products with Alexa integration for Italian customers may request early access (by invitation) to the developer preview of Alexa Voice Service.”

That means Amazon will have some help in the country where Google is already aggressively marketing its Home line of smart speakers. Voicebot noted last year that Echo products were shipping to many countries without language localization but some, including Italy, we not eligible to order. The hypothesis at the time was that Amazon didn’t want to ship to countries where it planned to have language-localized Alexa before it was ready. That line of reasoning is playing out with the Australia, France and Italy launches planned for 2018. More to come.

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