Gadgets

Amazon Echo price cut may signal arrival of new smart speaker

Retailer cuts price on smart speaker as it is reportedly readying an Echo with a built-in screen.

The Amazon Echo gets a $30 price cut.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Is Amazon making room for a new Echo?

The internet retailer on Sunday began offering the smart speaker for $150 in the US, a price cut of $30 from its previous price. The discount, presented as a Mother's Day gift idea, is available on both black and white models through May 13 -- the day Mother's Day is celebrated in the US.

Amazon's UK store is not currently discounting the device, where it's listed at its usual £150 price. The speaker also isn't currently on sale in Australia, but its US retail price roughly converts to AU$240.

While everyone is looking for the perfect gift for Mom, the timing may represent more than thoughtful suggestions. It may also be designed to help clear inventory in anticipation of a new addition to Amazon's ever-expanding smart speaker family.

In April, CNET reported that Amazon will likely reveal a new Echo device with a built-in screen this month developed under the code-name Knight. That information came just after Amazon introduced the Echo Look, a smart speaker with a built-in camera.

The new device may help Amazon expand and improve the Echo's capabilities in more areas, including video chats and online shopping, making the gadget more of a must-have item for homes.

The rush to get out a new version of its hit speaker underscores the fierce battle raging to dominate your home and connected devices. While Amazon enjoyed a significant lead in getting its Echo into homes and has aggressively built up the capabilities of its Alexa voice assistant, Google is coming on strong with its own Home speaker.

Apple is also reportedly working on its own Echo and Home competitor with a built-in camera.

Amazon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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