Amazon reportedly has plans for a new Echo smart home device that could directly target Apple’s upcoming HomePod.
The tech and retail giant is working on an overhaul to the next Echo, which could include an all-new design and better-sounding speakers, Engadget is reporting, citing people who claim to have knowledge of its plans. The device will be shorter and slimmer than the current, cylindrical Amazon Echo, and will have a cloth covering, rather than the plastic outer shell it uses now. According to Engadget, it’ll have “several tweeters” for bigger, bolder sound.
Amazon (AMZN) is the market leader in smart home hubs with its line of Echo devices. Those products, which include the Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show, all rely upon the company’s virtual personal assistant Alexa to operate. Users can issue voice commands that will allow them to set calendar appointments, create to-do lists, and control smart home products around the home, like Internet-connected thermostats.
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The Amazon Echo is the flagship model in the company’s lineup and was directly targeted by Apple last month when the iPhone maker unveiled its alternative, the HomePod. While Apple (AAPL) didn’t mention the Echo by name, it made comparisons to other devices and said that its squat speaker would deliver better sound that competing devices.
For the possibility of better sound and the other features Apple touted, like Siri support, customers will need to pay a bit more: when the HomePod hits store shelves this year, it’ll cost $349. The Amazon Echo is on sale for $180.
Engadget’s sources didn’t say what the new Amazon Echo might cost. However, the people did say that Amazon is looking to directly compete with the HomePod in the second-generation device. The Echo 2 could be released in the fall, ahead of the HomePod’s December release.
In a statement to Fortune, an Amazon spokesperson said that the company has “nothing to share on other products.” The spokesperson added, however, that Amazon is “always innovating on behalf of our customers.”