Francophiles and proper French citizens can now enjoy the fruits of Amazon’s Alexa as the company debuts the Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Spot in France in June. The company is also highlighting the hundreds of skills available for customers in France from leading brands like Philips Hue, Legrand, and Franceinfo as well as device makers like Boulanger and Archos that are introducing Alexa-enabled devices for French customers.
“Tens of millions of customers around the world are already using Alexa, and today we’re excited to introduce Alexa to our customers in France,” Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice president of Amazon Devices International, said in a statement. “We’ve built an entirely new experience from the ground up that honors the French language and culture, allowing customers to just ask to get music, weather, news, information, and more — just by asking. And there are already hundreds of skills for French customers from some of the most popular brands in France.”
Customers can pre-order the Echo devices beginning on Wednesday, June 6. Echo and Echo Dot will be shipped from June 13, while Echo Spot deliveries will follow next month. Amazon.fr customers can take advantage of drastic discounts on Echo devices — the Echo Dot is 30 euros, the Echo is 50 euros, and the Echo Spot is 65 euros.
France, Canada, and other French-speaking territories such as Belgium and Switzerland represent a significant market expansion for Amazon, which is fighting a worldwide battle with Google for the smart speaker business. Alexa arrives in France via a complete redesign specific to the language, including a new French voice, a help function built completely in French, local knowledge, and several hundred skills devised for France by developers.
Amazon engineers have been promoting the development of foreign language applications with the release last year of Cleo Alexa, a skill whose primary purpose is helping Alexa understand different languages and dialects. In recent years, Alexa has been taught to speak German and Japanese as well as Australian and Canadian English.
With this new launch, France joins a growing list of Alexa-enabled countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Japan, India, Ireland, and Canada.
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