Amazon Echo may land in India this year with regional language support
Amazon is investing over $5 billion in its Indian unit to turn the website into the largest e-commerce portal in the subcontinent. The retailer rolled out its Prime subscription service (opens in new tab) in the country last year, and introduced Prime Video a few months ago. Now it looks like Amazon may bring its Echo lineup to India by the end of the year.
That's according to two anonymous sources speaking to Economic Times. This isn't the first time we're hearing about the Amazon Echo landing in India, but ET's report also states that Alexa — Amazon's voice-based assistant — will include support for regional languages: Marathi, Tamil and Hindi.
Amazon is said to initially offer Alexa in English, with support for local languages coming shortly thereafter. Alexa has turned into a robust platform over the last two years, with the assistant touting over 1,200 skills — everything from hailing a cab, ordering items on Amazon, sending a text with your voice, and more.
There are a few India-specific hurdles when it comes to using Alexa for purchasing items on Amazon India — all online transactions in the country require two-factor authentication — but it looks like Amazon is exploring workarounds:
As for pricing, Amazon is likely to offer lucrative discounts initially to incentivize customers to pick up the Echo:
As a Google Home user, I'm excited to see what Echo brings to the table. Google Assistant is great at understanding queries, but Alexa is compatible with a broader range of services.
Would you be interested in buying the Amazon Echo once it launches in India? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.
I was thinking of buying an Echo dot on Ebay, but this post makes me to wait until the official launch! Still love Google Home thought, but have no idea when it will be launching in India. FeelsBadMan
Google Assistant works great in India, but I've heard Alexa isn't there yet. Definitely wait for the official launch.
Echo with Tamil :)