Amazon Echo Voice-Controlled Bluetooth Speaker Does More Than Play Music (AMZN)Author: Victor AlagbeLast Updated: May 18, 2020 Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) might be subtly challenging Apple’s Siri with news that it is making Amazon Echo available to all consumers. Amazon launched Echo about 7 months ago. Amazon Echo is a voice-controlled Bluetooth speaker than does more than playing music. A user review says,“Amazon Echo is designed around your voice and is hands-free and always on—ask for information, music, news, traffic, weather, and more from across the room and get results instantly“. Meet Echo, She Prefers being Called Alexa When Amazon Echo was launched late last year, it was only available to Prime members. Even then, you had to sign up for a waiting list, and then wait for an invitation to buy Echo when it is available. If you do get an invitation, you’ll still need to wait for about three to five months before you see a ship date. Hence, unlike Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa is somewhat elusive.However, those seven months between initial launch and mass-availability had been used in making better. This Re/Code article reviews Alexa in an informative and engaging style.What Echo Will Do for Amazon’s BusinessNow, everybody can order Amazon Echo directly from the online retailer for $179.99. Amazon says Echo will start shipping from July 14. It is still too early to predict what the response of people will be towards the new device. We will lay our hands on sales data in the next couple of months. Yet, we can make some conjectures on what Amazon Echo will do for Amazon’s business.Beyond Kindles, Amazon has not really succeeded in making hardware much in the same way that Google has not been able to nail its mobile hardware business. The Amazon FirePhone was a complete disaster and Amazon’ set top boxes aren’t flying off the shelves either. Amazon Echo is another attempt to break into hardware and the market will be watching how consumers react to the latest attempt.If Amazon Echo succeeds, you can expect the next line of devices (probably Smartphones with an inbuilt Echo/Alexa) to succeed. Amazon might even partner up with BlackBerry Limited to have a personal assistant in the next line of BBs.However, if Echo fails, Amazon will have learnt that perhaps it wasn’t cut out for the hardware business. The firm will then focus on selling stuff in real life, selling space in the clouds, and getting the latest page turners out on the Kindle.