Today, Amazon announced that it is releasing the 2nd Generation Echo Dot. The biggest surprise seems to be the price… less than $50. And if you buy 5, they’ll give you one free!
If you happen to need 6 Dots, that’s a little more than $40 a piece. If this sounds like a good deal, it is because it is.
It’s always worth comparing a 2nd generation to the first generation. I bought the the first generation Echo Dot a little more than 5 months ago for $90 where I called it “fairly expensive.” I’ve been scouring the specs to find out what the difference is between the two generations. One obvious difference is that you now have the choice of a white Echo Dot. Other than that, my view on the differences seemed like this:
Hmmm… is the difference only price?
I had to go look through some news sites to find what’s really different as there didn’t seem to a good comparison on the new page. Liliputing says:
“Amazon says there’s also improved voice recognition thanks to a redesigned voice processor. Other changes include a slightly more compact design, physical volume up and down buttons (instead of a volume ring).”
I like the volume ring, so it seems like the change is a downgrade. However, better voice recognition and more compact design seem like big positives.
One could make a case that this is a better product, for around half the price, introduced just 4 months later. I’ve grown accustomed technology getting cheaper, but that kind of price drop seems unprecedented to me. To make it sting a little more, only faithful Echo customers were able to buy the original, now seemingly very, very over-priced Echo Dot.
It almost seems that Amazon realizes that first generation Echo Dot customers would be unhappy with this development. I received an email that stated:
“As a customer who purchased the previous–generation Echo Dot, you can get a $10 Alexa Shopping credit when you order the All-New Echo Dot using Alexa Shopping. Order today through October 20 and a $10 Alexa Shopping credit will be applied to your account within one week after your new Echo Dot has shipped.”
I think some previous customers will be further insulted by this. It essentially says, “Buy another Echo, and use it buy something else at Amazon, and we’ll give you a $10 credit.”
Personally, I think it would have better if they wrote, “We’re going to ship you a free 2nd generation Echo Dot so you can see how awesome it is now.” They already have $90 from existing Echo Dot customers which would almost buy you two of the new products today. If they can’t send you a free one, at least offer another for $15 or $20.
On the bright side, this is the best time to add Alexa’s life-changing features affordably to every room in your house.
Get your “New” and “Improved” Echo Dot here.