Amazon’s Return to the Phone Business
At least the initial stories coming out of MWC are that Amazon’s Alexa is finding its way into new mobile devices. Both Motorola and Huawei have announced that they’ll be implementing handsfree Alexa Voice Service on device, which might now expand the reach of Alexa from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of users.
Could Amazon and the hardware makers bypass Google and Android altogether with Alexa? It seems like Google’s grip on Android with Assistant may be slipping. Samsung is reported full force on Bixby as well.
It’ll be curious to see how Motorola will integrate Alexa:
- Will it use an onboard DSP to run the Alexa trigger word in low power mode?
- How will far field perform on the device?
- Will the AVS implementation allow for hardware control?
- Will Alexa now work with contacts, email, messaging, phone or other applications on the device?
Is the incentive for a handset maker to go with Amazon vs Google that Amazon is not Google and it distributes the control of their hardware to two players, breaking a monopoly?
Could it be there there’s some other incentive for handset makers to embed Alexa — maybe even sharing revenue from purchases or gaining analytics on users?
These announcements make things more interesting.