Amazon Echo Lands in Italy and Spain
Amazon announced earlier today that Alexa-enabled products—including the Echo line of smart speakers and third-party devices such as Sonos One and Bose Quiet Comfort II headphones—are now available for purchase in both Italy and Spain. Amazon had previously released the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) for developers in Italy and Spain on June 19th. Pricing is identical in the two countries. Echo Dot’s are selling for €35.99, Echo for €59.99, Echo Spot for €77.99 and Echo Plus for €89.99. These reflect steep discounts of 40% across the board. Amazon online stores in both France and Germany are also offering discounts by not by a smaller amount.
Amazon Echo trails Google Home into Italy by nearly seven months and arrives in Spain more than four months later. A five month delay behind Google Home in Canada left Amazon with half of the market share of Google even though it launched during the prime holiday shopping period. The aggressive discounting may be a strategy to try and close the gap as quickly as possible. Google Home Mini, the Echo Dot competitor is currently €59.99 and Google Home is €149.99. Amazon Echo current Dot pricing is 40% less than Google Home Mini and the Echo is 60% less than the Home. Granted, you can expect Google to run a sale promotion to close the price disparity between the devices in the near term.
Accessories Available Too
I believe this is the first time Amazon has brought four products into a market at launch. That alone is notable and speaks favorably to Amazon’s improved supply chain planning and forecasting. Google typically brings two devices to market and then adds Google Home Max many months later. In addition, Amazon is also selling the Echo Sub subwoofer and the Amazon Smart Plug. That is a total of six devices, four of which were first launched just last month. Beyond those Amazon devices, Italian and Spanish shoppers can also purchase the Alexa-compatible Philips Hue lightbulbs along with a security camera and smart thermostat from Nero. As the market matures, consumers even at launch are getting access to an ecosystem of products.
Time Between Alexa Skills Kit and Echo Introduction
Voicebot noted when ASK for Italy and Spain were announced that the time between announcing ASK for France and the introduction of Echo smart speakers was 112 days and that we should expect something similar here. The timing for Italy and Spain was 126 days. By contrast the time between the announcements in Australia was only 64 days. We can surmise it takes about twice as long to introduce a a new language as it does to introduce a variant of a language that is already supported. ASK for Mexico was announced on August 8th and is standing today at 75 days.December 13th would be 126 days. However, given that Spanish is already live somewhere, it is likely that Mexico will go live with Echo smart speakers no later than early December.
13 Countries and Counting
The addition of Italy and Spain brings Amazon Echo availability up to 13 countries. This compares favorable to Google Home availability in 15 countries with four more announced as planned for 2018. There is currently no country where you can purchase an Amazon Echo but not a Google Home. This is likely to be the pattern as Google attempts to arrive just about everywhere it sells Android smartphones–and that is everywhere on the planet–while Amazon focuses more on countries where it has an online shopping presence. But, the big news today is that Italian and Spanish consumers now have a choice between the two leading global smart speaker makers. And it’s not just Amazon Echos with Alexa. Harman Kardon and Sonos are both offering Alexa-powered smart speakers in Italy and Spain today.
|Country||Amazon Echo||Google Home||Apple HomePod|
|Australia||Feb 2018||2017||Feb 2018|
|France||Jun 2018||2017||Jun 2018|
|Ireland||Jan 2018||Jun 2018|
|Italy||Oct 2018||Apr 2018|
|Mexico||TBD 2018||Jun 2018|
|New Zealand||Feb 2018||2017|
|Spain||Oct 2018||Jun 2018|
|United Kingdom||2016||2017||Feb 2018|
|United States||2014||2016||Feb 2018|