Amazon to take on HomePod with next-gen Echo

Devindra Hardawar, writing for Engadget:

Amazon is working on a new Echo that will improve on the first speaker in practically every way, a source tells Engadget. And, not surprisingly, it’s aiming to take some of the hype away from Apple’s HomePod.

The new Echo will be both shorter and slimmer than the original, almost as if it were three or four Echo Dots stacked on top of each other, our source claims. Amazon is also softening its design with rounded edges and a cloth-like covering, rather than the current Echo’s plastic shell and flat ends. And yes, it should sound better, too.

I get why Amazon wants to improve the Echo to take on the HomePod, but I just don’t think it’s going to work for them. I’ve listened to Apple’s HomePod at WWDC and it was pretty amazing—and even better when you connected two of them together.

Apple is going for a full fledged music listening experience with HomePod. Yes, there are still a lot of questions to be answered, but the fact is, HomePod sounds really good.

Amazon is trying to do a cross between a digital assistant and a music experience. That’s not a recipe for success when taking on Apple and the HomePod.