Proving its versatility as a service and its unrelenting nature to tap into every possible market, Amazon—along with Motorola—announced a new way for smartphone users to access its Alexa voice assistant on the go. Utilizing Motorola’s Moto Z phone, the two companies have worked together to develop a Moto Mod for the back of the phone that adds Alexa to the device.
The introduction of a new branded Mod is nothing new to Motorola—the company already has some pretty successful ones out of the market that it developed with companies like JBL (a bluetooth speaker), Hasselblad (a “true” camera), Incipio (an in-car dock), and many others. The addition of the Alexa mod, though, brings a whole new level of customization to the Moto Z, adding an entirely separate voice assistant to the device—as an Android phone, the device already has access to Google Assistant.
The Moto Smart Speaker, as it’s called, will have the full range of features that the user would expect out of an Echo device, meaning you’ll be able to connect to various music streaming services, listen to those services, and get updates on news, weather, sports, and more, and control your Alexa-enabled smart home devices right from the Moto Smart Speaker mod. And the only thing you need to do to activate it is snap it onto the back of your Moto Z.
According to the companies, the Alexa mod will be available for $149.99 and will start shipping in November. It’s expected to have 15 hours of battery life.
X Marks the Spot
— 9to5Mac (@9to5mac) October 20, 2017
A new report from KGI estimates that there will be about 3 million iPhone X units available when the next-gem smartphone launches November 3. Preorders for the phone open a week from today.
The report goes on to explain how supply shortages for a number of different components in the phone held up production over the summer—in particular, it was circuit board components for the antenna, wide angle camera, and depth-sensing infrared dot projector (FaceID) that were the crux of the problem.
That said, there will be limited supply at launch, but KGI did say Apple will be able to ramp up production in November, which should help during the holiday crunch.
KGI estimates that 25-30 million units will ship during the fourth quarter, down from an initial estimate of 30-35 million. That number could increase as much as 50 percent when the calendar flips to 2018, though.
More CE News
- The Sonos One speaker with Alexa (and eventually Google Assistant and Apple AirPlay) is by far the best sounding smart speaker we’ve heard.
- Huawei plans to launch a foldable phone by the end of next year, challenging Samsung on that front.
- In a letter to a customer, Tim Cook promised that Apple hasn’t forgotten about the Mac mini.