What to expect from Amazon's 2020 Alexa bonanza
Amazon's annual Alexa launch event is coming up on Thursday. And if it's anything like past years, it's going to be a busy day. I'm Ben Fox Ruben, and this is your daily charge. Joining me today is David priests, who covers all things Alexa here at CNN, Aman how's it? GOIN'. Doing. All right. How are you? Doing. Okay. So what are you really hoping to see tomorrow? What's what's your expectation from? Let's let's start with the echo up. Yes, sure. So, last year I mean this is an interesting year because last year you had sort of a shotgun blast of Alexa devices that we were kind of expecting to see you know we we thought we saw the echo show five come out during the summer we knew that they were going to be some speakers and displays that we're going to be rounding out their product lines. This year is not really the same. We already have you know multiple generations of displays and speakers. We already have the kind of baby bear Mama, bear, Papa Bear version of the display and the speaker. So everyone unconfined that just right device for them. So you know as far as displays speakers go don't think that we're going to see any huge revamps or huge surprises in terms of those devices what what we might see is. you know some added Polish or added features like we got with the echo dot with Kwok last year where they took an existing device and kind of added a convenient feature on top of it. Yeah one of the one of the few that they didn't update last year if I remember correctly was the echo spot, which is which is looking a little stale at this point. The thing is is that you could argue that the echo show the newer echo shows kind of replaced at. the other thing that you didn't mention where some of the mobile elements for cow so that Includes the. Auto. Hardware that Gizmo that you put in your car in addition to some of the weirdoes stuff like the glasses and earn ring like an actual ring you put on your finger and usually they they tend to have these types of oddball items whether it's a wall clock or microwave or ring so I would also expect to see some of those. Just they really loved like throwing Spaghetti on the wall I would I would share I are and one thing that's always interesting about them to. As you know, Amazon is really willing to you both abandoned device that's just not working. You know I remember testing out the original tap, which was you know Kinda got left behind. And that very well could happen with the echo loop or something like that from last year. That's the ring. Yeah. But also if if there's a product that they sort of throw out there and does stick to the wall, they're very willing to kind of lean into that and so if they're you know if they think the frames are doing really well, we could see some expansion of those products you know. So they're not just sort of limited release it sort of expands and gets a little bit more wide reach in their release or even new versions of them. Yeah. I'm kind of excited to see what they do. It's always it's always exciting and there's some surprises there. So do you think that the I've written versions of the story? In various times over the years do you think the lineup has gotten way too confusing like you talked about the tap, they actually discontinued the tap but like now they have like a very long list of echo items and some of them are really niche like the echo glow which I think is like a night light. So. So is it time for them to like shrink it down and kind of focus or you know they're just to keep doing what they've been doing, which is you know, let's throw out as many products as we can think off so. You know I think that there definitely is reason for them to focus their core lineup and I think they've done that with speakers and devices. And in a couple of other categories this while the. Euro. Stuff like that. So they have routers and they have the ring doorbells. So they have those core devices with with each of those properties and they have slightly different branding for some of them. But those those core lineups don't really get damaged or you know muddled by the addition of a bunch of extra things that they're trying out like echo auto and the frames and. you know the glow and things like that. So I think it's I. think that they have actually done a pretty good job of distinguishing between their core lineup devices that they're definitely going to be trying to get everybody to get during the holiday season and the ones that they're just sort of putting out there to see if there's interest if they want to expand it if people would buy if they put it out there.