Amazon to Unveil New Echo Speaker With Touchscreen as Soon as Tomorrow

Amazon is planning to update its Amazon Echo line with a new speaker that includes a screen and video calling capabilities, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The upcoming speaker will feature a 7-inch touchscreen, used to make internet-based video/telephone calls and display visual results for spoken queries. Camera functionality could also be included, mirroring the capabilities of the recently introduced Echo Look.

Amazon's existing Echo speaker

The new Echo screen device will likely support some of the same functionality as the Echo Look, which will enable consumers to take videos and photos of their outfits and compare them via algorithms, according to one of the people. It is unclear why Amazon is launching the two devices so close together or how the market segments they target may differ.

Amazon may be planning to unveil the speaker, which has been in beta testing for a few months, as early as tomorrow, Tuesday, May 9.

Amazon's existing Echo device is currently priced at $150, but it normally sells for $180. The new speaker is expected to be sold for over $200, due to the included display.

Along with the new speaker, Amazon is also said to be planning to roll out telephone services to existing Echo devices over the next few weeks. To begin with, intercom functionality may be available, allowing two Echo devices to communicate with one another.

The imminent launch of an Amazon Echo device with a display comes as Apple is rumored to be nearing the final stages of development on its own Siri-based speaker, which would compete with the Echo and the Google Home.

Rumors have not suggested Apple's upcoming device will include a display, but Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller recently made some comments suggesting voice-activated smart speakers would be better with screens.

According to Schiller, a voice assistant without a screen doesn't "suit many situations," especially when it comes to social networking services, photos, and games.

I have yet to see any voice-only games that, for me, are nearly as fun as the one that I play on my screen. And so I think voice assistants are incredibly powerful, their intelligence is going to grow, they're gonna do more for us, but the role of the screen is gonna remain very important to all of this.

Amazon's new Echo product will be the first of the in-home smart speakers that includes a display. Apple's own device, which is said to include Siri integration and "excellent acoustics performance," reportedly has an "over 50 percent chance" of debuting at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
38 months ago
Amazon is swift and hungry. Apple is slow and lazy. These are amazing times to witness.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago
Phil Schiller yesterday: A voice assistant without a screen doesn't "suit many situations."

Phil Schiller today: *crickets*

:D
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago
Sticking cameras and screens onto products and calling them innovative is the wrong answer

I already have enough screens and cameras in my home I don't need companies to keep adding more
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago
I wouldn't mind if Apple abandoned Siri tomorrow. Let these other companies spend boatloads on technology that is minimally helpful at best and focus on the new Mac Pro and fixing the MacBook Pro.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago

I wonder why they didn't announce this with the echo look.

So each can have their own coverage, while prolonging brand exposure.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
38 months ago
I've had a home automation hub long before they were headlines. It wakes me in the morning. It turns the TV or radio to programming it recommends. It reminds me of tasks that need to be done. It answers my questions succinctly. It turns the lights off when I should go to bed.

It's called a wife.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker Claims New 13-inch MacBook Pro Coming as Soon as Next Month

Monday April 6, 2020 2:56 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple will announce a new 13-inch MacBook Pro in May with the codename J223, according to a rumor shared by YouTuber and leaker Jon Prosser. Note: it’s a refresh to the current 13” So the bigger 14” display upgrade is a big possibility— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) April 4, 2020 Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said Apple plans to release new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models with scissor keyboards ...

iOS 14 Could Offer Home Screen Widgets, Wallpaper Customizations

Saturday April 4, 2020 3:30 pm PDT by Frank McShan
iOS 14 could offer home screen widgets and wallpaper customizations for the first time, according to 9to5Mac and Twitter user DongleBookPro. Apple is reportedly working to implement widgets that can be moved freely around like icons on the iPhone and iPad homescreen for the very first time. The feature is reportedly codenamed "Avocado" and no other details are available. It was also...

'Leaked' Images Allegedly Show iPhone 12 With Smaller Notch, Rear Camera Redesign, and Home Screen Widgets

Tuesday April 7, 2020 4:28 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Two images shared on social media this morning are currently stoking speculation about possible hardware redesigns coming to the iPhone 12 and the potential introduction of Home screen widgets in iOS 14. Shared by Twitter user Fudge (choco_bit), the images depict a front and rear graphical representation of a smartphone with interface elements on the screen, suggesting it came out of a...

More References to Apple's Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Appear Online

Monday April 6, 2020 4:38 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Further references to Apple's upcoming low-cost iPhone have appeared online, one on a Chinese e-commerce website and another on Verizon's smartphone trade-in page. Spotted by tech blog MySmartPrice, Chinese retailer JD.com has published a placeholder for Apple's so-called "iPhone 9" that includes a teaser image of a veiled smartphone, but other than that it lacks any particularly revealing...

The New York Times, IFTTT, Medium, and Other Apps Adopt Sign in With Apple Ahead of June 30 Deadline

Sunday April 5, 2020 7:08 pm PDT by Frank McShan
Apps with sign-in functionality, including The New York Times, IFTTT, Medium, and more, have continued to adopt Apple's secure Sign in with Apple feature ahead of a deadline of June 30. The deadline for these apps to support the feature was recently extended from April 30. Sign in with Apple, first introduced in iOS 13, allows users to create accounts for apps and websites using an Apple ID. ...

Some Users Experiencing System Crashes on macOS 10.15.4, Especially During Large File Transfers

Monday April 6, 2020 8:17 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
A sizeable number of Mac users are experiencing occasional system crashes after updating to macOS Catalina version 10.15.4, released a few weeks ago. The crashing issue appears to be most prominent when users attempt to make large file transfers. In a forum post, SoftRAID described the issue as a bug and said that it is working with Apple engineers on a fix for macOS 10.15.5, or a...

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.4.1 With Fix for FaceTime Bug

Tuesday April 7, 2020 10:06 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 13.4.1, minor updates that come two weeks after the release of iOS and iPadOS 13.4, major updates that introduced iCloud Folder Sharing, a new Mail toolbar, trackpad support for the iPad, and more. The iOS and ‌iPadOS‌ 13.4.1 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General...

Top Stories: Apple Leaks iPhone SE and AirTags, Apple Buys Dark Sky, and More

Saturday April 4, 2020 6:00 am PDT by MacRumors Staff
With the calendar rolling over to April this week, we yet again saw several leaks and rumors, most notably including Apple itself leaking some references to a pair of long-rumored products: a new budget iPhone SE and AirTags item trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple also acquired popular weather app Dark Sky, while Amazon's Prime Video app now allows...

Apple Reportedly Targeting WWDC for Over-Ear Headphones Launch, New 'AirPods X' Later in the Year

Tuesday April 7, 2020 7:00 am PDT by Eric Slivka
Rumors of Apple-branded over-ear headphones have been circulating for quite some time, while more recent rumors have mentioned an "AirPods Pro Lite" that could also be in the works, and Twitter leaker Jon Prosser's recent foray into Apple rumors provides a bit more detail on what we might able to expect for these products. Current Beats Studio3 Wireless and BeatsX On the over-ear side,...

Apple Donating Over 20 Million Masks to Healthcare Professionals, Producing Face Shields With Suppliers

Sunday April 5, 2020 2:51 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple CEO Tim Cook today shared a video message with an update on the company's response to the ongoing pandemic. Cook said Apple has now sourced over 20 million masks that it is in the process of donating to healthcare professionals around the world. Apple is working with governments to ensure that the masks are donated to the places of greatest need. Cook added that Apple's design,...