Amazon is reportedly planning to release Alexa powered wireless earbuds later this year
Amazon is looking to expand its hardware offering into the wireless earbuds market according to a report by Bloomberg. The media company claims to have received information from "people with knowledge of the plans" that Amazon is planning to release Alexa powered wireless earbuds sometime in the second half of this year.
The earbuds will reportedly function and look like Apple AirPods but will deliver superior audio quality. The earbuds will be designed to sit inside people's ears rather creating a seal in the ear canal like Samsung's Galaxy Buds and will allegedly not rely on clips to keep the earbuds in place.
Moreover, the Alexabuds will integrate Amazon Shopping and Music functionality to allow people to order goods or play music using voice commands. You will also be able to ask for other information much like you can with Amazon Echo devices. The earbuds will have "physical gesture controls" too, which will support audio controls and allow you to answer or decline calls. Bloomberg's source did not give any information about how these controls would be implemented. It will be interesting to see whether Amazon opt for a small touchpad like Sony has with its WH-1000XM series or something else entirely like Microsoft did with its Surface Headphones.
Apple currently has a 60% share of the wireless earbuds market, which grossed 12.5 million sales worldwide in Q4 2018, according to a report by Counterpoint Research. Hence, it seems prudent for Amazon to try to take a slice of that market, especially as it matures its Echo and Fire product lines. Hopefully, the Alexabuds will not be a flop like the Fire Phone was.