You make me think about an interesting point, maybe it’s not completely fair to pit these against…
John Pratt
11

Perhaps the important thing here is to distinguish between the hardware (Echo, Google Home) and the voice platform or OS (Alexa, Google Assistant). You bring up a good point that Google has “users” mostly and that they lack many physical consumer products. But I disagree in Amazon’s advantage for rollout. In terms of users and potential devices to support the voice UI, Google owns the Android, Chrome, Google search user base (can rollout more software products).

Echo Show, for sure, filled in more gaps and pushes Alexa’s capabilities to the next level. Amazon may continue to dominate the smart home market, but that doesn’t mean Google Assistant will be behind Alexa. I am viewing the hardware or even the voice UI just simply as an interface to the greater platform. Maybe Alexa-driven products (Echo, Echo Show) may be more successful than Google Assistant-driven products (Home). But at the same time, Google Assistant maybe more successful as a means to a strategic goal than Alexa is. There’s no clear path to monetization yet with voice computing alone, and Amazon currently has the lead as it can link it to their retail platform. But Google Assistant is leaning into Google’s strengths and removing more friction onto getting more users.

As for my thoughts on Echo Show, I think it’s great for consumers and for the smart home market. But I’m hesitant to declare that “Google doesn’t have a competitor to this combination and they will be behind real quick.” I can argue that Chromecast-enabled systems can fill this role for now. Maybe Google will leverage its Android ecosystem to show real-time data on their phones (which may be something people prefer). I also think the real game changer will be integration with augmented reality, which Amazon has not been a huge player as of now.

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