As the largest online retailer on the planet, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) will be one of the most visited sites during the annual holiday shopping extravaganza, and it's already kicked things off with a plethora of "Black Friday" specials, including sales on Amazon devices like the Echo and Fire.
It's important to note that while other retailers, including Best Buy, Target, and Wal-Mart, will have Amazon-branded products available for sale, the online behemoth will reserve some of the best deals for Amazon customers, and more specifically for members of its Prime membership program. Even if some items ending up selling for the same price, the combination of free shipping for Prime members and the ability to avoid the early wake-up and crush of crowds will be an added benefit for online shoppers.
Is there an Echo in here?
In 2014, Amazon created an all-new category of electronic products with the introduction of its Echo smart speaker. The device is powered by the artificial intelligence of its Alexa digital assistant, and has become one of the hottest product categories around. The voice-controlled speaker has spawned competing devices such as Google Home by Alphabet and the soon-to-be-released HomePod by Apple.
The Echo is available in a variety of form factors, and a number of those will be deeply discounted at some point through Black Friday. The Echo Dot, the miniature version of the device, will be available for $29.99, its lowest price ever, according to Amazon, 40% off its usual price tag. The new Echo Plus, which boasts improved sound and a built-in Wi-Fi hub, will set shoppers back $119.99, a savings of $30. The Echo Tap, the wireless, portable model will be available for $79.99, $50 off the list price. The latest version of the flagship Echo will boast a $20 discount, at $79.99, down from its usual $99.99 cost.
Finally, a smart plug -- which allows voice control of the lights or devices that are plugged into them using the Echo -- will be available for $5, compared to the usual $25 price tag.
Several of Amazon's Fire tablets will be available at significant savings. The recently released Fire HD 10 Tablet 32GB, which uses the same Alexa AI as the Echo, can be had from $99.99, a 33% savings and the lowest price ever for the device. Shoppers can save $30 on the Fire HD 8 16 GB at $49.99, down from $79.99.
Popular tablets for kids will also see special pricing. Fire HD 8 Kids Edition 32 GB will be available for $89.99, a $40 savings off the regular price. If you buy two, you will receive an additional $10 off your order -- getting both for $169.98. The Fire 7 Kids Edition 16GB will be discounted by 30% at $69.99, down from $99.99. Orders of two also see an additional $10 savings.
The Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, Amazon's voice-controlled streaming media player, will be available for $24.99, a $15 savings.
Curling up with a good book?
The Kindle e-reader, another popular Amazon-branded device, has several models showing up with significant savings for the holidays. Readers can score the Kindle with a 6" Glare-Free Touchscreen for $49.99, 38% off the regular $79.99 price. The Kindle Paperwhite HD will be priced at $89.99, down from $119.99.
The Kindle for Kids Bundle, which includes a Kindle, a two-year guarantee, free cover, and eliminates the sponsored screensavers, will be offered at 44% off at $69.99, down from the usual $124.98.
The fine print
It is important to note that Amazon's "Black Friday" sale is ongoing and while some devices will be on sale for the duration, some prices will change from day to day or even hour to hour. Amazon also said, "Black Friday will feature more than 30 Deals of the Day and thousands of Lightning Deals. Customers will find new deals every day, all season long."
The best bet is to decide what products you really want and check regularly for the sale on that product. Amazon suggests downloading its app to receive Watch a Deal alerts that let you know when a deal goes live.