The Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Amazon Tap went on sale earlier this week and currently remain on sale. Whenever Amazon devices randomly go on sale, people are always too quick to conclude that the retailer must be clearing out stock of the current models because new models will soon be announced. That is usually not what is happening and it’s usually just a regular sale. However, while I hardly ever take this stance, I do believe this current sale is actually meant to clear out stock for an imminent announcement of new models.
There are several reasons why this sale feels more like a fire sale meant to clear out stock than just a regular sale. The Verge is reporting that the current sale for the Amazon Echo, which has dropped the price from $179.99 to $99.99, is scheduled to last for 2 weeks, until September 4th. I keep track of Amazon device sales pretty closely in order to keep my Buyer’s Guide accurate and up to date. It’s very rare for an Amazon device sale to last more than a week, but it has definitely happened before. What I’ve never seen is a sale that discounts the device as much as the Echo is currently discounted last for so long.
The other indicator of this being a fire sale is how closely it has come after Prime Day. Amazon devices, especially those discounted as much as the Echo was discounted during Prime Day, usually go out of stock on Prime Day and Amazon spends the next month fulfilling orders and restoring their supply. Having another sale so close to Prime Day, especially one that nearly matches the Prime Day price, is unusually for Amazon.
Rumors of a new Amazon Echo being announced later this year are starting to bubble up, but that’s no surprise considering the current model will be 3 years old this November. Historically, Amazon usually releases new tablets in September and new Fire TVs in October. They unusually released new tablets in June this year, less than a year after last year’s release. It’s possible this was done to clear up September for new Echo devices.
I think it is very likely that a successor to the Amazon Echo will be announced next month. I expect it to be priced between $100 and $130 to compete with the $129 Google Home on price. It will probably be smaller than the current Echo, but sound just as good, if not better. I don’t expect it to have a screen or other major change. I also don’t think a new Echo Dot will be announced this year, but it’s not out of the question.
What I feel is much more likely than a new Echo Dot is a new member to the Echo line that slots in between the full-sized Echo and Echo Dot. I would expect such a device to sound almost as good as the Echo, but be smaller. I don’t see it as a replacement to the Amazon Tap, since I don’t think it will have a built-in battery, but I see it as being similar in many ways. If I were to take a guess at the price of such a device, I would expect it to cost around $70 to $80.
I hope they launch a battery powered Echo in the UK.
What sort of new fire TV will they launch next month?
No word on when it’ll launch, but the only new Fire TV we know about is the mid-tier “AFTN” model I wrote about here: http://www.aftvnews.com/exclusive-amazon-to-release-new-mid-tier-fire-tv-model-with-4k-hdr-and-android-7/
Probably not something I would want or need, because I’m still at 1080P. I wonder if existing fire TV devices will be upgraded from 5.+ to 7.+ or even 8.+
It’s probably safe to assume all future Fire TV models will be 4K capable. The current Fire TV Stick 2 will probably be the last 1080p model and I expect it will stick around for a while. At least until Amazon can sell a 4K device for $40 or less, which will very likely not be this year.
As for an update of Android on the Fire TV, the new model(s) will likely run Android 7. Don’t expect Android 8 for a long time. I have no clue if the current devices will be updated or not.
Are you sure that “AFTN” model wasn’t referencing the Amazon Fire television sets that came out a couple months ago?
Yes, I’m sure. The Fire TV Edition televisions are designated “AFTRS”
See here: http://www.aftvnews.com/fire-tv-edition-televisions-are-codenamed-margorita-and-confirmed-to-have-aftrs-build-name/
I have a little bit of hope the Echo Dot goes on sale in the U.K. before Christmas as the black one is on my list.. If they announce a new one we won’t see it for sometime, still have no idea about a Echo Showtime launch date in the U.K.