Sorry, Siri, Alexa’s got you beat — Here’s why Apple’s going to lose the voice computing war to Amazon (AAPL, AMZN, GOOGL)

Jeff Bezos

This year’s CES was full of products powered by Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.
Apple, which usually influences the rest of the tech industry, has fallen far behind in the voice-based computing, and there’s no sign it can catch up with Amazon or Google.
Apple’s HomePod speaker won’t stand a chance against Amazon’s rival Echo line or the other Alexa-powered devices when it belatedly launches later this year.

One of the favorite go-to talking points among Apple fans every year is how the company always seems to “win” the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas without ever showing up.

For years, the event seemed to be merely a venue for the rest of the industry to show how it was catching up to what Apple had just done or trying to keep pace with what it was expected to soon do. The most famous example was in 2007, when Apple announced the original iPhone in the middle of that year’s show, sucking out all the excitement out of Vegas. But Apple showed over and over again that it could set the agenda for the biggest consumer electronics conference in the world from afar.

Those days may be over. At this year’s CES, Amazon displaced Apple as the most influential company at the show with the smallest presence there.

More importantly, this past week’s event made clear that Amazon is dominating one of the most important trends in tech — voice-based computing. Not only has Apple fallen behind in that area, it’s too late for the iPhone maker to catch up.

Alexa everywhere

At this year’s CES, companies announced a slew of devices powered by Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant. There were Alexa-powered smart glasses, Alexa controls in Toyota cars, smart home gadgets that respond to Alexa commands, new Windows PCs with Alexa preinstalled, and so much more. It was nearly impossible to walk through the show floor for more than a few minutes without stumbling onto yet another Alexa-powered gizmo.

All those gadgets and announcements demonstrated how big a role voice is going to play in how we interact with technology — and just how dominant Alexa’s position is. By contrast, Siri, Apple’s Alexa rival, wasn’t even in the conversation.

Alexa’s dominance has taken years to build. Amazon’s Echo smart speakers, which pioneered a new tech product and introduced Alexa to the world, gave the smart assistant a foothold inside consumers’ living rooms. More recently, Amazon introduced cheaper Echo models, most notably the $50 Dot, that helped bring Alexa to the masses and allowed many to put it in multiple rooms.

The combination of a pioneering product and inexpensive prices has allowed Amazon to sell millions of smart speakers and capture two-thirds of the market, even amid growing competition from Google.

Amazon’s massive market share has attracted increasing numbers of developers. Thanks to the growing number of skills, or apps, they’ve produced for Alexa, Amazon’s assistant is constantly getting better and learning to do more things. That in turn has made Alexa attractive to device manufacturers looking to add a …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Tech


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