There is a big chance that Amazon.com, Inc‘s (NASDAQ:AMZN) intelligent voice assistant Alexa will be able to control your entire house. As of today, many electronic and Wi-Fi enabled devices and appliances are connected to Alexa. However, Amazon is making a strong push to make Alexa the top voice-operated virtual assistant in the industry.
The e-commerce giant just announced that Alexa will now be available on mobile devices. But, it is only available for handheld products that were manufactured by Amazon. First to have it is Amazon’s new Fire HD 8 tablet which was launched Thursday. It is the new and improved version of the model with the same name, the Fire HD 8. The other tablets called Fire HD 10 and $50 Fire tablet will also have the Alexa feature once the software update of Fire OS 5 is rolled out this fall.
The main difference that the new Fire HD 8 will have is Alexa. Both models have the same 8-inch, 1280 x 800 resolution touchscreen display. The RAM was doubled and is now 1.5 gigabytes. The storage was also increased from 16 gigabytes to 32 gigabytes. The new tablet will have a larger battery that Amazon says should last for up to 12 hours of use. In reality, the improvements in memory space and battery life of the new Fire HD 8 might not appeal to the market. But, the sales would certainly be boosted with the help of Alexa on Android devices. Moreover, you can buy one at a very affordable price of $90.
According to Amazon, its approach in making cost-effective but efficient tablets has helped their sales performance. Amazon’s general manager of Fire tablets Kevin Keith says, “Sales have more than doubled in the past year. Last year’s $50 7-inch tablet emerged as the bestseller of all the Amazon tablets.”
Once Alexa is released, the Amazon tablets will be able to do almost anything that it can do on other Amazon devices. Users will be able to give the latest news, ask for sports updates, set the time, make jokes, book hotels, and more. Keith expects the Fire tablet users to use Alexa mostly for entertainment purposes.
This move by Amazon was made to expand Alexa’s reach. It is meant to entice more customers to purchase Amazon devices. Additionally, these people will have to access and buy from Amazon.com more.
Alexa was first made available to Amazon’s Echo smart speaker and Fire TV streaming box. Amazon also teamed up with some manufacturers of smart home products like door locks and light bulbs. There have been reports that it will soon be available in other home appliances. Lenovo has also been in talks with Amazon to incorporate Alexa in its computers and other devices.
Brining Alexa to its tablet will help Amazon in sustaining its strong sales of tablet devices. Though Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is still known as the top tablet maker, the company has had problems in increasing revenue because iPads are expensive.