Amazon released several new hardware products during 2017. None of those products are e-reader devices. However, looking at the broader strategy, it is clear that we see the start of a broader strategy from Amazon. Here are some of the moves that analysts expect in the next two years.
Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is to gain a foothold in the American grocery market. Also, analysts expect Amazon to add both physical books and its entire hardware range (Kindle, Kindle Fire, and Echo) to sections of the stores. Such a step will massively increase Amazon’s retail presence. In the space of a year, Amazon will increase its retail presence to as many as 365 stores.
We see Amazon integrate Alexa into every one of its hardware devices. The Echo was the first with Alexa. Afterwards, the Fire tablet range got Alexa. The next step is a complete refresh of all Kindle readers with Alexa built-in. To preserve battery life, there is likely to be a button that triggers the assistant.
Amazon is also riding the growing the popularity of Audiobooks. Amazon owns one of the largest producers and publishers of Audiobooks: Audible. We could see a future promotion of audiobook content on its range of hardware devices, including in Alexa enabled cars.
2017 is looking like a transformative year for the online shopping giant. The Whole Foods purchase and the expansion of the Echo product range is setting up Amazon to take a central role in the physical shopping market and the living room.