Amazon is now selling Echo via offline stores in India, no invites required
Update (Feb 15): Amazon has expanded the availability of Echo devices in India. In addition to Amazon.in, these Alexa-powered smart speakers will now be available for purchase from 350 stores like Croma, Reliance, Vijay Sales, Crossword and in over 20 cities across the country. The company has also removed the requirement for invitations to buy the Echo speakers online.
“We are excited to make Alexa and our Echo devices available for all customers, and we can’t wait to hear about their experiences. Since Alexa runs in the cloud, she is always getting smarter – the Alexa experience in India continues to evolve with new features, even better speech recognition, new localised skills, expanded music selection, and more,” said Jayshree Gururaj, Director – Amazon Devices, in a statement.
Earlier (Feb 9): Amazon is gearing up to expand the availability of its Echo smart speakers in India. The company will reportedly start selling the Echo devices via physical retailers beginning next week.
The Echo devices, which were originally launched in the country in October last year, have been exclusively sold through Amazon.in until now. Amazon had also placed an invitation requirement to purchases these devices. Although the invitations were easily offered by the company, they were an inconvenience. Gadgets 360 is reporting that it will all change next week along with the expanded availability.
The offline launch of the Echo devices is not a surprise since Amazon had promised to do the same at the time of the launch.
“Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot will also be available at Croma, Reliance Digital stores and other offline retailers following the invite-only period,” the company had noted in the launch press release.
To remind you, Amazon Echo devices are smart speakers powered by Alexa voice assistant. The Echo speakers can answer questions, play music, read the news, set timers and alarms, provide sports scores, control smart home devices and more.
I have personally been using the Echo Dot since its launch in the country and I have found the functionalities to be underwhelming. Alexa still has a lot of learn about India and the needs of Indian consumers. Even though Amazon says that Alexa understands the Indian accents well, it leaves a lot to be desired, especially compared to Google Assistant.
Here is a quick look at which Echo models are currently sold in India and their prices:
- Amazon Echo Dot: INR 4,499
- Amazon Echo (2nd generation): INR 9,999
- Amazon Echo Plus: INR 14,999