2007 was a major milestone for Amazon. It was the year the Seattle-based company brought out the first Kindle e-reader.
Before then, Amazon was little more than an ambitious and fast-growing online shop. A decade later, and it’s a global juggernaut — dominating everything from ecommerce to cloud web hosting.
It is still less associated with hardware and gadgets than the likes of Apple, but since 2007, Amazon’s tech product line has radically expanded — with AI smart-speakers, tablets, and even an ill-fated smartphone.
It is even now building its own drones, with the aim of revolutionising deliveries — but don’t expect them to take to the skies for a few years yet.
Even now, though, its product line is extensive. Business Insider has rounded up every gadget the “Everything Store” has launched this year, or is rumoured to be going to launch.
In 2015, Amazon unveiled the Echo. It's a home speaker with a twist: An AI assistant inside called Alexa that is controlled by the user's voice and can do everything from read the news to check the weather, adjust the lighting, and -- of course -- play music.
In 2016, it followed it up with the Echo Dot, a compact version. Then in May 2017 came the announcement of the Echo Show: An Echo with a 7-inch screen attached that can be used to make video calls and play videos.
It officially launches in the US on June 28 for $US229.99.
The Echo Look, announced in April 2017, does what the name suggests -- it looks at you. More specifically, it's an Echo with a built-in camera that can take selfies and analyse your outfits and fashion sense.
However, it's currently only available by 'invite-only.'
The latest part of the Alexa family, this one takes an existing product -- the Dash Wand -- and sticks Amazon's AI assistant in it. And what's the Dash Wand? Basically, its a fancy barcode scanner you can use to order new products. If you're running low on mayo, for example, you just scan the jar in your fridge to add another one to your online basket.
With the addition of Alexa, in June 2017, it becomes the cheapest gadget yet (at $US20) to come with Alexa -- giving Amazon an edge on competitors like Apple and Google, who are now also bringing out AI smart-home devices.
Amazon hasn't signalled that it intends to launch a new Kindle Paperwhite e-reader this year, but there is speculation that it could be on the cards. The eBook Reader blog points out that the last version came out in 2015, and is due for an upgrade. (There's also a 'leaked' photo of dubious authenticity.) File this as a maybe.
It's also not clear whether an update is coming to the other basic Kindle lines, like the Oasis and the Voyage. But their basic nature means there's not the same need for yearly updates in the same way there is for a smartphone.
Speaking of smartphones, there's a very interesting rumour going round: Amazon might be building a new smartphone.
In 2014, Amazon brought out the Fire Phone. It was, to put it politely, a flop. It sold poorly, and cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars. Amazon never brought out a second version.
But there earlier in June, a report circulated that Amazon is building a new phone codenamed 'Ice.' It is allegedly a low-end phone aimed at emerging markets like India (rather than trying to go toe-to-toe with the iPhone or the Google Pixel), and would launch this year. Stay tuned.
In May, Amazon announced two new tablets: The Amazon Fire 7, and the Fire HD 8.
The Fire 7 is pretty basic (you can read Business Insider's review here), and comes with a 7-inch non-HD screen, as well as Alexa. But it's dirt cheap: Just $US49.99 (£49.99), and for that price you can forgive a lot.
Meanwhile, the Fire HD 8 has -- surprise, surprise -- an 8-inch HD screen, 16GB of internal storage, a 12-hour battery life, and, once again, Alexa. It goes for $US79.99 (£79.99).
Alongside the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8, Amazon brought out two special kid-friendly versions of the tablets.
These are essentially the same devices, with a few key differences: A colourful 'kid-proof' case, a year of Amazon Fire for Kids, which provides age-appropriate books, videos, and apps, and a two-year guarantee. They go for $US99.99 (£99.99)and $US129.99 (£129.99).
- This list only includes consumer technology hardware products. Amazon also has increasing numbers of other own-brand products, as well as apps and digital services.
- The Dash Wand is only available in the US. The same will be true of the Echo Show, once it launches, and it is also the case with the invite-only Echo Look.
- This list does not include third-party hardware products that incorporate Alexa or other Amazon services, or third-party products sold exclusively though Amazon.
- This only includes global launches. There have been Amazon products launched in new territories this year -- like the latest Fire Stick with Alexa, which came out in the UK, Germany, and Japan in February 2017, but previously launched in the US.
- Amazon declined to comment about any upcoming products or any planned launches of existing products in new territories.
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