Amazon’s Alexa Blindsided Apple and Google

Amazon initiated the smart speaker market when it introduced the Echo in November 2014. Over the 2017 holiday season Amazon sold tens of millions of Echo’s, making it one of its best selling holiday products.

Now Alexa is getting her own expensive Super Bowl Commercial.

Amazon clearly sees a large market for voice assistants.

Alexa will lead to more direct revenue  with more consumers shopping with the device.

Does this really matter to Apple and Google? Well, all the data collected by Amazon can be used to build a better voice assistant, perhaps advancing much more quickly than Siri and Google. In addition, if you have a question with a short answer, there’s no need to use search, which will impact Google’s revenue.

Apple doesn’t really compete in the smart speaker market, offering only a high-end audio product. However, consumers may find that Alexa does music sufficiently well, and combined with a Prime Video device, is a better smart TV than Apple TV.

Alexa is going global. She already comes in all shapes and sizes, and will soon be in cars, appliances, and even Windows PC’s.

Alexa could easily become the interface to the Internet, and Internet commerce, for many people. We’ll use our smartphones less, which means we’ll upgrade them less often. And we’ll Google less because we can simply ask Alexa. How much will this impact Google and Apple? Hard to say, but even a small 10% revenue decrease is tens of billions of dollars.

Finally, don’t be surprised if you walk into a Whole Foods and Alexa is there to help you find where items are located.
That is, assuming we still drive there:

Alexa, reorder my weekly grocery list and some paper towels then play Nobody Does It Better.