Amazon’s 2018 Product Roadmap: What To Expect

Michael Grothaus

05/01/2018 – 1:02pm

What will 2018 bring from the tech giant?

In 2017 Amazon went from being one of the bigger tech players to becoming a company that could become the biggest player in tech in the near future, according to many analysts. It seems like the year just ended saw a company that could do no wrong. Besides retaining its top spot of the largest online retailer in the west, the company put out a succession of updated and new products that flew off the shelves–including hits like the Amazon Echo Dot. Amazon also shocked the world by getting into the brick and mortar grocery business with its purchase of Whole Foods. So what could Amazon do to possible top this in 2018? Here are some guesses of what to expect.

New Amazon Echos

Smart speakers are expected to have their biggest year yet in 2018–that’s being helped by Apple getting into the game with its HomePod. But Amazon virtually created the smart speaker market with its Echo line years ago and in 2017 extended that lineup to include the smaller Echo Dot, as well as the Echo Plus, and the Echo Show. Expect Amazon to double down on its Echo lineup in 2018 with new skills across all its devices as well as updated acoustics and possibly even new form factors.

New Kindles

The company will obviously update its Kindle e-reader line. It’s obvious to expect improved screens and lighting, but beyond that, what could be expected for 2018 Kindles is still up in the air. New designs are possible as are a refinement of the line. The Voyage has not been updated in a while and with the popularity of the Oasis, it’s possible we may see Amazon condense its Kindle offerings.

New Fire TVs

Amazon currently sells the Fire TV Stick and the larger Fire TV, which handles 4K and HDR video. Given video content is an important metric for Amazon since it helps drive Prime subscriptions we can expect Amazon to update both Fire TV devices with minor spec bumps in the prime Fire TV and perhaps even bringing 4K and HDR support to the Fire TV Stick.

New Fire Tablets

Yeah, you think of “iPad” when you think “tablet” but Amazon’s Fire tablet line is actually one of the most popular tablet lines out there. That’s mainly thanks to their low price points and range of screen sizes from 7in to 10in. Truth be told, 2018 probably won’t bring too many big changes to Fire tablets, but we’re sure to see some spec bumps.

More Integration With Whole Foods

As mentioned, Amazon surprised everyone when it bought Whole Foods in 2017. But Amazon doesn’t just want to get into the physical grocery market–it wants to redefine physical shopping. To that end, Amazon has been testing its “Amazon Go” shopping service at one location in the US. This service allows people to go to the store, pick up items off the shelf, and walk out of the store with them without stopping at a till to pay. Instead, sensors link the products taken to a person’s Amazon account and charge them automatically. It’s possible this Amazon Go service could expand to some (or all) Whole Foods stores in 2018.

Another Major Acquisition

As is evident from its Whole Foods purchase, Amazon isn’t afraid to splash down some serious cash for big name companies. Some analysts are saying Amazon might do that again in 2018 with a purchase of US retail giant Target. Will that happen? We honestly wouldn’t be surprised.

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