Amazon Echo to land in Europe soon

amazon logo canvasAmazon will roll out its voice-controlled Echo speaker to three new markets: the UK, Germany, and Austria. It is expected to launch in the additional nations on Sept. 28. The Echo is slated to cost £149.99/€179.99, although Prime subscribers who pre-order may get a discount. The Dot companion product – a smaller version designed to expand the reach of the main Echo speaker to more rooms – is also expected to release in the UK and Germany. Dot will be priced at £49.99/€59.99 and will launch on Oct. 20.

The BBC reported that a reason for the delayed rollout beyond the U.S. was to ensure that the Echo speakers could support local accents. In the case of the UK customers, Alexa will have a British accent and offer reactions to traditionally British queries (Mashable reported there’s even a Monty Python joke programmed in). But even more impressive, the German buyers will have the product speaking back to them in their first language. “Millions of customers in the US have already fallen in love with Alexa and we are thrilled that it now speaks German,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.

The rollout clearly included a hefty investment of resources to add the new understanding and language options to the Echo. Amazon has been putting the voice-activation tech front and center in its new developments. For instance, its planned mid-price standalone streaming service is expected to only work on the Echo speakers.

Anna Washenko