Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Alexa-powered devices have always been seen as utilitarian.
Their voice-powered speakers and other wares with relatively low price tags are in sharp contrast with pricey designs from Apple, for example. But as CNET reports, we may be seeing a difference in that strategy soon:
That changed Thursday, as Amazon unveiled a torrent of new products, with many featuring a badly needed update in looks. They may not come close to the fit and finish of Apple gadgets, but Amazon’s portfolio of products is keeping pace with modern aesthetics.
“We’ve always in our design group focused on products that sort of disappear into the background,” David Limp, head of Amazon’s devices business, said in an interview Thursday. “We don’t think of them as show pieces or pieces of furniture, but as we’ve had more and more devices in the home, we’ve discovered that people do put them in lots of different rooms, lots of different decors, so we wanted to make them fit in more there and disappear.”
The Echo Dot got a fabric-enclosed makeover, and the Echo Input is a new device that connects to any speaker. Amazon even has an Alexa-enabled AmazonBasics Microwave for $60 of all things, along with an Echo Wall Clock for $30.
Amazon.com, Inc. shares closed at $1,915.01 on Friday, down $29.29 (-1.51%). Year-to-date, AMZN has gained 63.75%, versus a 10.35% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.