Amazon to release Echo speaker with 7-inch display in 2017: Report

With increased competition from Google and soon others, Amazon is looking to differentiate its line of Alexa-connected speakers with the Fire tablet and Echo speaker in one.

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(Image: File photo)

Amazon is developing a premium version of the Echo speaker that will include a touchscreen, according to Bloomberg.

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The new device could come amidst increased voice and artificial intelligence competition from Google and Apple.

Bloomberg said Amazon's new device will feature a 7-inch touchscreen and upgraded speakers to serve users with information. It could hit the market sometime in the first quarter of 2017.

Amazon found a runaway hit with the Echo, one of its top-selling products across the online marketplace. With the help of its Alexa voice assistant, Echo serves users with voice-controlled information -- from weather to appointments. It also sells the Echo Dot and Echo Tap to build a network of speakers around your home.

See also: Amazon Echo review: A perfect 10

The new screen-filled Echo will have a larger form-factor and tilt upwards so the screen can be seen when it sits on a counter, Bloomberg reported. This could be helpful for reading recipes in the kitchen, a new skill from Amazon that has been well received.

Amazon's new Echo device will run on an "optimized version" of Fire OS that powers its line of tablets. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that Amazon has thrown its weight behind voice-connected devices as it looks to take over your home.

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