Voice-activated speakers such as Amazon's Echo and Google Home are becoming increasingly popular with tech-savvy consumers. Photo: AP
Voice-activated speakers such as Amazon's Echo and Google Home are becoming increasingly popular with tech-savvy consumers. Photo: AP

The hottest tech toy this Christmas? Amazon runs out of some Echo speakers the week before festive period

  • The Echo is the flagship device in Amazon’s growing line of consumer electronics and was a best-selling product during Thanksgiving holiday
Topic |   Amazon

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Voice-activated speakers such as Amazon's Echo and Google Home are becoming increasingly popular with tech-savvy consumers. Photo: AP
Voice-activated speakers such as Amazon's Echo and Google Home are becoming increasingly popular with tech-savvy consumers. Photo: AP

Shoppers hoping to get their hands on one of Amazon.com’s Echo smart speakers before Christmas may come away disappointed.

Several of the e-commerce giant’s online stores in North America and Europe showed various models of the Alexa-powered line of gadgets temporarily out of stock on Monday, with shipment delayed to January or beyond in some places.

The Echo is the flagship device in Amazon’s growing line of consumer electronics and a fixture of the company’s advertisements during the holiday shopping season.

The company said it sold “millions” of Echo devices worldwide during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and Cyber Monday and that the hockey puck-shaped Echo Dot was the bestselling product on Amazon during that period.

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In the US, a product listing for the Echo Spot shows availability beginning January 1. Other models were available for delivery beginning this week or, in the case of the Echo Plus, immediately. The Echo Dot is listed as unavailable in European countries in which Amazon sells the device, with estimated delivery dates ranging from January in Britain to as late as April in Germany.

Other retailers, including Best Buy Co and Target Corp, had Echo Dot devices in stock for immediate shipment Monday. Amazon did not immediately comment on the shipment delays.

The company invented the voice-activated speaker category with the 2014 release of the Echo, a sleek plastic column that lets users play music, read the weather or news stories and control an array of internet-enabled home electronics.

Google entered the market in 2016 with its Home line-up of smart speakers, and 2018 marks the first year Apple's rival HomePod will be on sale during the peak holiday shopping months.