We had wondered whether Amazon would hold its annual hardware event at the normal time this year. It seems that the pandemic hasn’t delayed the launch, as the company has sent out invites to a 'Devices & Services' event. The only change is that – as you’d expect – it’s online rather than in person at Amazon’s Seattle HQ.
The launch is at 1pm ET, which is 6pm in the UK and we’ll be there virtually to find out what Amazon has in store.
Last year’s event brought a mass of new devices including the Echo Studio as well as more experimental products such as the Echo Frames – Amazon’s smart glasses – and the Echo Loop, a smart ring.
Those last two still aren’t on general sale: you have to apply to buy them and you may or may not be able to.
Will we see second-generation versions this year? Quite possibly, but the smart money is on an evolution of the Echo Studio along with updated versions of other Echo speakers including the Echo 4 and Echo Dot 4.
The company’s range of smart displays is already comprehensive, with 5-, 8, and 10in models. Some or all of those could get updated too.
One of the other Alexa devices we expect to be announced is a second-generation model of the Echo Buds true wireless headphones. The first-gen buds certainly left room for improvement, both in usability and sound quality.
The company doesn't usually talk about its Fire tablets in these September launches. Back in May it announced the latest eight-inch tablet, the Fire HD 8 Plus, reviewed.
The services part of the event is intriguing, as that could involve updates to Prime Music and Prime Video or more on the new Halo subscription for the new health tracker.
With Amazon’s Prime Day being delayed this year and rumoured to take place in mid-October, another possibility is that the new devices could go on sale to coincide with that, offering them to Prime members at a discount.