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India becomes first Asian market to get Amazon's Echo speakers and Alexa

Prices start at Rs 4,499 and go all the way up to Rs 14,999

Alnoor Peermohamed  |  Bengaluru 

Amazon, Amazon Echo, Amazon Alexa

E-commerce giant on Wednesday launched its lineup of speakers and in India, making it the first Asian country to get extremely hyped Artificial Intelligence powered devices.

has begun taking pre-orders for the Echo, Dot and Plus by invitation and said they will begin shipping by the end of October. The launch of and comes ahead of Amazon's Prime Music subscription service in India.

"Tens of millions of customers are already using Alexa, and today we're excited to bring her to India with an all-new experience designed from the ground up for our customers in India," said Dave Limp, Senior Vice President, Devices and Services. "The combination of and provides customers with hands-free access to music, weather, news, information, and more."

While is the first to enter the game of in India, it's late in bringing its Alexa, which powers the devices, here. Rival services such as and have been around for a while in the country through Android smartphones and the iPhone.

The devices, while pricey, starting at Rs 4,499 and going all the way up to Rs 14,999, will offer users the ability to look for music, and even buy products on through voice. Unlike Google and Apple, has been forced to bring the devices here in order to serve as an interface for users with

and will be able to somethings right out of the box, but is also bringing developer tools that will help other plug their services into the speakers. Services such as Saavn, Times of India, ESPNcricinfo, Ola and Freshmenu, will be among the first to offer their services through the smart speakers, allowing users to order food, get cricket scores and book a cab.

India being one of the major focus markets for Amazon, the company will try to target the devices to its die hard customers in the country. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, has already pledged to invest $5 billion into the country and is betting on its Prime service to win over rivals, Softbank-backed Flipkart and Alibaba-backed Paytm.

Apart from selling products to Indian customers, is also betting big on selling content in the form of video and music. While Prime Video was launched last year along with its Prime subscription, Prime Music will be available off the bat to early buyers of the devices at no additional cost and then rolled out to other soon.

For India, says it has added regional music to its catalogue, and the service will take on Apple Music and Google Play Music, services which are offered at Rs 120 and Rs 89 per month respectively.

will allow to connect with its customers in India during the course of their day to better understand their needs and buying behaviour. So far the company's interaction with customers was only through its app and website. With Amazon's biggest focus being on getting people to buy more often from it, is where it is putting its money, for now.

First Published: Wed, October 04 2017. 19:46 IST
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