How Amazon Plans to Clobber Google Home and Apple HomePod With Its New and Cheaper Echo Lineup

Aaron Pressman for Fortune:  Working to maintain its lead in the early stages of the market for home digital assistants, Amazon rolled a bevy of new and updated products last week, including an improved version of its Echo speaker and Fire TV set-top box.

At a press event in Seattle, Amazon said a new version of the Echo would have improved audio output and a softer look resembling competing speakers from Google (GOOGL, +2.14%) and Apple. And Amazon cut the price of the device, which responds to voice commands via the company's Alexa digital assistant, to $100 from $180.

The price cut and improving feature set should help Amazon ward off the competition. Google's Google Home speaker costs $130, though Apple's upcoming smart speaker, HomePod, has not even hit the market yet. Analyst Ben Wood at CCS Insight said on Twitter that there was "no question that Amazon is making clear effort to consolidate its lead with Alexa as rivals attack market."  Full Article:

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