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Surprise! Amazon’s holding a big hardware event at its Seattle headquarters, and we’re here on site, to bring you the news as it breaks. Unlike Apple, Google and the like, the company isn’t one for announcing these sorts of events in advance, though given that it’s done something similar in recent years, it seemed likely that it had something big planned for this month.
After all, we are in the pre-holiday crunch time for hardware launches. That’s precisely why you’ve seen/will see major events from competitors like Apple, Google and Microsoft, among others. It’s also why I haven’t been sleeping very much this month.
I wouldn’t read too much into the fact that Amazon didn’t pre-announce the event. That’s just the company’s style, for whatever reason. And besides, it took a similar approach with last year’s event, where it refreshed the Echo line and added the Spot, Buttons and a new Fire TV to the stable.
What we do know for sure is that today’s event will be focused on Alexa, the Echo line and Fire TV. As far as specifics, this report seems like a pretty good place to start. It notes that the company is planning to release “at least” eight Alexa hardware devices in the near future, including a hi-fi system, an automotive gadget and, interestingly, an Alexa-powered microwave.
All of the above are interesting for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that they would put the company in direct competition with a number of third-party hardware partners, including Sonos, Garmin and GE. That runs counter to the company’s recent pattern of working with third parties.
A number of other Amazon products seem overdue for refreshes as well, including the Echo Show and Dot. There’s been talk of a HomePod-style competitor from Amazon, as well. That could potentially make its debut at today’s event, as well, though the Sonos-esque product may also fit the bill there.