Announced almost three years ago, Amazon's smart home device, Echo brought about an almost pioneering change to the tech industry. The company's move was so unusual that it took its nearest competitor a year and a half to come to the market. With the entry of Apple's (unfortunately named) Homepod last month, the market is poised for some serious competition now but, Amazon isn't sleeping on its rivals. New reports suggest that the e-commerce giant's next iteration of Echo will take the Cupertino-based company's challenge head-on.
The new Echo will reportedly feature a slicker design with rounded edges and a cloth-like covering. The current gen device is akin to a cylinder with flat edges and a plastic body. Amazon is clearly going for a more premium look and finish. The sound system might also get a boost, with the current design packing one large tweeter and a woofer, and the successor offering several tweeters packed inside the device. Interestingly, the HomePod holds seven tweeters.
The report also suggests some enhancements to the microphone technology, although, it is not clear what Amazon plans to do in that area. Echo possesses an array of seven far-field mics against HomePod's six and Google Home's two. It wouldn't be too far-fetched to assume that most of the augmentations will take on the software and acoustic side. It still remains to be seen whether the company will be able to maintain its price edge over HomePod should the rumored changes come to pass.
Amazon has a complete ecosystem around the device with complementary hardware and it is constantly making leaps with Alexa. It is safe to assume that the company intends to dominate this market even if that means grappling with the richest tech company in the world.