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This article was published on January 11, 2016


Amazon may be making the Echo you don’t need (or want)

Amazon may be making the Echo you don’t need (or want)
Nate Swanner
Story by

Nate Swanner

Former Reporter, TNW

TNW's former West Coast writer in the PNW (Portland, Oregon). Nate loves amplifying developers, and codes in Swift when he's not writing. If TNW's former West Coast writer in the PNW (Portland, Oregon). Nate loves amplifying developers, and codes in Swift when he's not writing. If you need to get in touch, Twitter is your best bet.

When Amazon has a hit, they tend to overdo it. A new report suggests the company will soon release a smaller version of its Echo — likely at a radically reduced price.

The Wall Street Journal reports the new-look Echo will be about the size of a beer can, and is “designed to fit comfortably in the palm of a user’s hand.”

This tiny new Echo is said to jettison one major feature of the original: always on listening. Instead, you’ll have to press a button to activate Alexa. It’s believed to be cordless, though, charging via a base rather than needing a direct link to your outlet at all times.

To that, it’ll be portable enough to drag around the house with you, though it’s not clear who’s been clamoring for such a device. Like so many other problems, the best solution is the one you’ve got in your pocket: a smartphone. If I am curious about something, I’ll ask Siri well ahead of Alexa. Other features, like voice-activated shopping, aren’t fully fleshed out yet.

Smaller and without always-on listening, it’s reasonable to believe the smaller Echo will be cheaper. The current model is $179.99 on Amazon.

Amazon to Release Portable Version of Echo Speaker in Coming Weeks [The Wall Street Journal]