Amazon Prime Day Ignores New Generation of Echo Devices, Steeply Discounts Earlier Iterations
Amazon Prime Day began on Monday, and the now two-day event is packed with the usual overwhelming number of items on sale. Focusing on the devices Amazon sells, there are a lot of steep discounts. However, what is notable is that none of the newest generation of Echo devices announced last month are included in the sale, at least as of Monday morning. On the other hand, the price drops on the previous generations of smart speakers and smart home devices are larger than last year. Age, new devices, and a need to clear out warehouse space probably account for the price tag, but it’s worth looking at the sales now versus Prime Day 2019.
Amazon saved the deepest discount for the Echo Dot’s previous iteration, selling for $19, compared to the $50 list price. In comparison, last year for Prime Day, the Echo cost $50, and the Echo Dot dropped to $22, although the Dot was often discounted to $25 around this time last year. On the smart display side, the Echo Show 2nd Gen is selling for $150, which is only $10 lower than last year’s Prime Day, though still much cheaper than the $230 list price. The newer Echo Show 8 costs $65, down from $130. The Echo Show 5 smart display, meanwhile, is on sale for $45, a good discount from the $90 list price, but not very much changed from the $50 price during Prime Day last year.
There are other Amazon devices that weren’t around or may not have been central to Prime Day last year, but that the company is pushing hard this year. The Echo Auto, which integrates Alexa into cars that don’t host the voice assistant, is down from $50 to $20. And the cheapest Amazon device in Prime Day is the Echo Flex, the modular, plug-in smart speaker into which people can plug clocks and other attachments are only $10, down from $25 normally. For more mobile Alexa access, the Echo Buds earbuds are $80, a $50 discount. But, the main role for the Flex, as well as the Echo Dot, is to support bundles of smart home products. Amazon’s interest in encouraging people to build smart homes around Alexa is evident in bundle deals like $19 for an Echo Dot plus a smart lightbulb, $50 for an Echos Show 5 with a Blink smart mini-camera, or $150 for the Echo Show 5 with a Ring video doorbell.
Walmart Big Save
Like last year, Walmart is doing counter-programming to Prime Day with The Big Save sale, including quite a few non-Alexa smart devices. The Google Nest Hub smart display, for instance, is down to $90 from $150, while the Google Assistant-powered Lenovo Smart Clock is $40, down from $80. The $200 price tag for the Google Home Max chops a third off the device’s listed price, although it’s still not cheap. There are also plenty of discounts on smart lightbulbs and related smart home products, but Walmart may not be centering its sale around the smart device ecosystem. The smart home devices are crucial in Amazon and Google’s smart home rivalry, however. Once people start building their smart homes around one voice assistant or another, they’re much more likely to stick with it in future purchases and think of it as the default every time they buy something new.