Amazon to launch portable version of Echo speaker: Report

Amazon.com expects to release a smaller, portable version of its voice-activated Echo speaker, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the plans.

Amazon.com expects to release a smaller, portable version of its voice-activated Echo speaker, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the plans.

The new device, code-named "Fox", is expected to be priced lower than the $180 Echo, the newspaper reported.

Amazon.com launched "Amazon Echo" in November 2014, a speaker one can leave on all day and give it voice directions, like Siri on an Apple Inc iPhone.

"The product idea makes sense. I keep my Amazon Echo in the home office and have long wanted additional units in other rooms of the house. The current hardware isn't ideally suited to move around though because it has to be plugged in for power," points out ZDnet.

Amazon is relying on Flextronics International Ltd to help make the device, the WSJ reported.

An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment.

Flextronics International was not immediately available for comment.

Amazon's Echo speaker is known for  “Alexa” that plans to bring a stiff competition to Siri and Google Now.  The company has also started taking its Alexa software to other products. For instance, it has teamed up with Ford Motor to integrate the Alexa software into vehicles.

"Echo and Alexa are becoming Amazon's increasingly powerful gateways into the smart home. The company's name was absent from booths and show floor spaces at CES last week, yet numerous companies from small startups to Ford announced Alexa integrations to bring voice control to appliances and automobiles," writes TheVerge.

With input from Reuters

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