It is now time for another episode of Farewell To Competition, in which a product is imagined to have won a battle that will actually be ongoing for years to come.
Writing for The Motley Fool, Danny Vena says “Amazon Is About to End the Competition’s Only Advantage Over Alexa.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Philip Speicher.)
E-commerce giant Amazon.com, Inc. has a hit on its hands with its artificial intelligence-based Alexa virtual assistant and the products powered by the digital darling.
12 out of 10 pundits agree: The Amazon Echo is a hit! The same pundits also agree that the Apple Watch is a flop. These pundits apparently don’t know that Apple has sold more Watches than Amazon has Echos. It is incorrect to call these pundits incurious, however, as they’ll often put things in their mouths that aren’t edible, just to try them out.
The Echo smart home speaker, its miniature sibling the Dot, and the portable Tap have taken the world by storm.
Well, when we say “world”, what we mean is the English and German-speaking part of the world. Since, you know, those are the only languages Alexa currently speaks.
One might be inclined to consider languages another strength the competitions has over Alexa but then one would not get that job writing for The Motley Fool and one would go on to lead a happy and productive life.
If Alexa suffers from one key disadvantage, it’s the lack of a smartphone to call home.
But now Amazon has put Alexa into an app that you can have on your smartphone so the sky’s the limit. Once you launch the app.
Recode is reporting that Amazon is planning upgrades that would allow Alexa-powered devices to initiate phone calls using voice commands.
Imagine bringing the existential dread of ConferenceCall.biz to your living room.
Users will be able to tap the microphone button inside the Amazon app to access Alexa, which essentially brings its myriad of skills to the iPhone.
Just not in any way that’s, so far, without more friction than surplus Soviet toilet paper.
Vena notes that Alexa is coming as a system-wide assistant on some smartphones but certain smartphones in certain languages isn’t exactly going to dominate the market.
Lots of people really like Alexa, which is arguably better than Siri (at least in English), and the Echo is definitely a successful product, albeit less successful than the Apple Watch. But the Macalope doesn’t get why pundits feel the need to exaggerate about it.