Lenovo, like many other companies this year at CES have launched products which are using Amazon’s exciting voice assistant technology Alexa. The Lenovo Smart Assistant announced this week is slated for launch in the US in May, but it’s also heading to Australia.
The confirmation of an Australian launch comes from Lenovo ANZ Managing Director Matt Coddrington who said in a Tweet ‘The Lenovo Smart Assistant – available soon in ANZ!’. That’s obviously a ‘how long is a piece of string?’ time-frame, but certainly confirms that an Alexa powered device is on its way to Australia.
The Amazon Echo and other Echo devices are currently only on-sale through Amazon in the US, as well as in the UK and Germany. Amazon this year at CES has however been busy announcing built-in functionality of the Alexa service in everything from SmartTV’s to Fridges, though international availability for these devices hasn’t been announced yet, but that is obviously Amazon’s next step and all these products will rely on Amazon support.
There have been signs and rumours of Amazon expanding services to Australia, with the recent launch of Amazon Video in Australia a big sign that the company has designs on global expansion. It’s this global expansion which hopefully includes Australia that would likely be needed to launch Alexa powered devices down under.
Rumours have also been circulating of a much larger Amazon presence in Australia with distribution centres apparently planned in every state. The rumoured Australian launch has been linked to September this year according to an article in the Australian Financial Review last year.
The Lenovo Smart Assistant will sell for $129.99USD (around $179AUD) and will be available in Light Grey, Orange or Blue coloured models, or $179.99USD (around $247AUD) for a more audio focused Black model tuned by Harman Kardon when the device launches in the US in May. How those prices stack up once the usual ‘Australia Tax’ has been applied will be interesting to see.
With Lenovo’s ANZ Managing Director saying it and Amazon rumoured to expand to Australia, the Lenovo Smart Assistant could be sitting under your Christmas tree this year.