Amazon told us a lot about its commitment to privacy and new features that will make us love their hardware products, but the 2019 fall hardware event was really about one thing — prices a lot lower than the competition.
Amazon knows how much people are willing to pay because its the store we buy from.
You need to look no further than the huge $150 price drop from last year's Eero mesh system to this year's to see it (Amazon purchased Eero in 2019), but you totally should because chances are you'll be interested in what you see. Smart doorbells and stick-up cameras from Ring, a much improved and much cheaper Amazon Echo, even the Echo Studio smart speaker with all the premium hardware and buzzwords that are about half the price of a comparable product from Sonos or Google or Apple were designed to do two things: be good enough so that you'll enjoy using them and be cheap enough so that you'll buy them.
This was no accident. Amazon is in a unique position where it knows how many people look into buying these products, how long they spend looking at each individual product and which one they end up buying because Amazon is first and foremost an online retailer that sells millions of tech products every year. This data is priceless (pardon the pun) if you want to see how much is too much when it comes to pricing. A customer that looks at a $400 product from a name we all know but ends up buying a similar product from another company for $299 is providing the kind of data Amazon needs.
Couple this in with the fact that Amazon is probably selling Alexa-powered devices with little or no profit from the hardware itself and you have a situation where both Amazon and consumers can benefit. We get products of a known quality that cost a lot less and Amazon gets more people using Alexa which is a gateway to further Amazon sales. It's also possible that this makes other companies lower prices, too. We should totally be prepared to see mesh Wi-Fi systems at fire-sale prices this holiday season because of Eero's pricing.
Black Friday online sales are going to be c-r-a-z-y in 2019.
I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I have more than a handful of Amazon products here at the homestead and for the most part, I'm satisfied with the way they work. Features that further my privacy will make me even more satisfied. But Amazon using its position to price other companies into the red doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I'll probably forget that when I buy a new Echo Studio this holiday season because I'll be dazzled by the price.
Alexa on the go
Alexa, lots of battery, and noise cancelation.
The Echo Buds are Amazon's first wireless earbuds, and they look pretty great. They're promising world-class noise reduction using Bose technology, hands-free Alexa access, and 5 hours of playback with the buds and another 20 hours in the charging case.
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