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Amazon is practically giving away the Echo Dot

Matthew De Silva
Echo Dot, Charcoal, Side Table

When Amazon unveiled the Echo Dot in March 2016, the puck-shaped smart speaker cost $90. It was presented as a cheaper alternative to the Echo, the taller device which then went for $180. Just over three years later though, on Cyber Monday weekend (Nov. 30–Dec. 2), the third-generation Echo Dot will cost only $22, a fraction of the first iteration. Indeed, Amazon’s practically giving them away now, at more than 50% off their list price of $49.99.

Currently, the company is offering a bulk discount—three Dots for $64.97—if you use the coupon code: “DOT3PACK.” And last month it offered another special, an Echo Dot for just $1 if you purchased a $7.99 per month subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited. With Amazon’s current deal, the Dot usually costs $34.99. This weekend, customers can also get a free Dot when they buy select Amazon smart TVs.

By offering deep discounts on its own hardware, Amazon is trying to put Alexa, its cloud-based voice assistant, in virtually every home (and beyond), a strategy that appears to be working quite well. In March, nearly one-quarter of US adults reportedly owned a smart speaker, according to Voicebot.ai, a publication dedicated to virtual assistants and artificial intelligence. The most popular device? Amazon’s Echo, with a 61% market share. Google’s smart speaker, Google Home, accounted for 24% of the market.

While Amazon reportedly loses money on its smart speaker sales, the battle for the household could pay off in the long run through subscription products and buyer lock-in to Amazon Prime (as well as Amazon-branded items). Dave Limp, the company’s senior vice president of devices and services, revealed in January that Amazon had sold 100 million Alexa-enabled devices, a number that appears ready to jump this quarter with the rock-bottom prices. The company did not reply to an inquiry about the number of units it has sold or the deals it has offered each holiday season.

Here’s how this year’s discount on the Echo Dot stacks up against Amazon’s recent past. It’s worth noting that the company has effectively discontinued older generations of the Echo and Echo Dot. Refurbished models are available through resellers.

ECHO DOT

Echo Dot with Clock (revealed Sept. 2019)

List price: $59.99 | Currently: $44.99 | Cyber Monday: Unknown

3rd generation (introduced Oct. 2018)

List price: $49.99 | Currently: $34.99 | Cyber Monday 2019: $22

Thanksgiving weekend 2018: $24.00

2nd generation (released Nov. 2016)

List price: $50 | Currently: Unavailable | Cyber Monday 2019: No

Thanksgiving weekend 2018: $19.99

Thanksgiving weekend 2017: $29.99

Thanksgiving weekend 2016: $39.99

1st generation (introduced March 2016)

List price: $90 | Currently: Unavailable | Cyber Monday 2019: No

ECHO

3rd generation (introduced Oct. 2019)

List price: $99.99 | Currently: $99.99 | Cyber Monday 2019: $59.99

2nd generation (released Oct. 2017)

List price: $99.99 | Currently: Out of stock | Cyber Monday 2019: No

Thanksgiving weekend 2018: $69.99

Thanksgiving weekend 2017: $79.99

1st generation (released Nov. 2014)

List price: $199 | Currently: Unavailable | Cyber Monday 2019: No

Thanksgiving weekend 2016: $139.99

Note: Cost of one new device. Not including bulk discounts.

 

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