ABI Research Amazon Echo Dot Teardown: Voice Command Makes a Power Play in the Smart Home Market

17 Jan 2017

In its recent teardown of the Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation), ABI Research uncovers that the eCommerce giant chose to undergo a number of significant cost reductions in design to bring voice command functionality to the masses at an even lower price point. An interesting move and one that validates voice command’s growing role in the smart home market, the Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation) proves to be a lower cost voice gateway as compared to the economically-priced, first-generation model.

“Interestingly, Amazon shaved considerable margin from its first-generation Echo Dot, which retailed for $89.99 with a bill of materials, or BOM, of $45.39,” says Jim Mielke, Managing Director and Vice President at ABI Research. “The second-generation model retails for $49.99 with a BOM of $34.87. Emphasizing cost reduction in the lower tier of the Echo product line is an obvious move by Amazon to bring voice command functionality to a larger, lower income market.”

The Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation) migrates away from a Texas Instruments chipset to one supplied by Taiwanese semiconductor company MediaTek, which continues to show a growing presence in mobile ICs through its cellular modems, application processors, and connectivity chips.

On the other end of the spectrum, ABI Research finds that the Google Home retails at a $129 price point with an estimated BOM of $43.44. While the Google Home does feature higher-end audio, it remains to be seen as to whether or not Google will follow Amazon’s lead with a device aimed at the sub $50 market.

“Taking into account all the emerging voice command devices recently infiltrating the smart home market, smart speaker manufacturer Fabriq may actually prove to be the dark horse to watch,” concludes Mielke. “Retailing at the same price point as the Echo Dot, the smart speaker incorporates Amazon Alexa functionality, uses a MediaTek chipset, and works in battery mode as a Bluetooth speaker for remote music streaming, relying on a mobile handset to connect to the Internet. A comparable Echo alternative, Fabriq may just give Amazon a run for its money.”

These findings are from ABI Research’s Teardowns, which include high-resolution photos and x-rays, pinpoint power measurements, detailed parts lists, and block diagrams.

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