Chinese Alibaba has now also entered the intelligent speaker market, following Amazon, Apple and Google. Its main attraction is that the speaker is a lot cheaper than the competition. A small group can now trial the device for one month.
Half as cheap as Amazon’s
About a thousand people can try out the Tmall Genie X1 and how it reacts to voice commands. It can talk about the weather, order things online or operate connected devices.
The Tmall Genie X1 costs 499 yuan (about 65 euro), less than half the price of the Amazon Echo (180 euro). However, Amazon also has a smaller version, called the Echo Dot, which costs about 60 euro, but nevertheless, Alibaba’s device is also markedly cheaper than the competition.
Tencent and Baidu, two competitors for Amazon and Alibaba, are also preparing their own intelligent speaker, which is not a surprise considering 4.2 million were sold in last year’s final quarter alone. That number is nearly seven times higher than in the same period the year prior to that and Amazon dominates about 90 % of the market. The total market is allegedly worth an astonishing 90 billion dollars (80 billion euro), but that is dwarfed by the market created by the speaker-powered purchases on the web shops itself.