Skip to main content

Updated from 2:41 p.m. with additional information. Inc. (AMZN) - Get, Inc. Report  added a whole host of new devices and accessories to its growing line of Alexa-enabled smart speakers as it attempts tocement its position as the leader in the connected home. 

On Wednesday, the tech giant unveiled a new, smaller version of its voice-activated Echo device that costs just $99 and packs an improved speaker with Dolby sound. It comes in multiple 'shells,' or designs, that include fabric, wood and a metal-like material. 

Amazon also announced a new mini-version of the Echo Show called the Echo Spot. Video phone calls can be made from the Spot's small circular screen, and the device will cost $130. And the company also introduced an updated version of the Echo called the Echo Plus, which will sell for $150 and packs an improved speaker, a built-in smart home hub that recognizes smart bulbs and other devices that operate on the ZigBee internet of things standard. 

"The original Echo was absolutely ripe for a refresh and as we're running up to the the holiday season, it's a perfect time to do it," said Ben Wood, a technology analyst at CCS Insight. Wood said he was surprised at the sheer number of announcements that Amazon made on Wednesday, but that he expected the update of the original Echo.

In addition to the Echo devices, Amazon also unveiled the $35 Echo Connect, which enables users to make phone calls from their landlines using their Echo devices, and a series of Echo Buttons, Bluetooth-connected devices that can connect to Alexa for games. As if that weren't enough, Amazon also announced a new FireTV with 4K streaming capabilities that starts at $60 -- a $100 discount to Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report recently-launched 4K Apple TV.

TheStreet Recommends

Amazon's smaller new Echo is priced at a sizable discount to the inaugural Echo, which started at $180. Other versions of the Echo include the $50 Echo Dot, the $229 Echo Show that features a large screen and the $200 Echo Look. 

The announcements were made as part of a press event at Amazon's Day One campus in Seattle. 

Image placeholder title

Amazon now faces steep competition in the smart speaker market from players including Apple, Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report Google, Microsoft Inc. (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report and Samsung (SSNLF)  who each have their own similar devices out or about to launch. Amazon was the first to come out with its smart speaker, however, which became a surprise success for the e-commerce giant. On top of that, Amazon is selling its devices at a much cheaper price point than competitors, adding to their appeal.

Shares of Amazon rose 1.3% to $950.87 on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Amazon received its highest ever price target -- $1,400 from Wells Fargo, which cited its positioning in artificial intelligence and Amazon Web Services.

Apple is a holding in Jim Cramer'sAction Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells AAPL? Learn more now.