Is Apple Threatened By Amazon's Alexa-Powered Devices?

Posted by Kirhat | Saturday, March 11, 2017 | | 1 comments »

Amazon Alexa
In the last couple of months, Amazon has been quietly, and with very little fuss or fanfare, building an ecosystem right under Apple's nose, and now it could pose a real risk to one of its key devices.

These are just rumors, but sources said that that Amazon is working on Alexa-powered devices that support voice calls and intercom functionality. Evidence also emerged that Amazon is also working on an indoor video camera, which could be either for home security or video conferencing.

Now, while new devices are interesting, they don't automatically give much cause for concern for the folks over at Apple HQ. After all, Amazon is not a new entry into the consumer electronics market (it all started with the Kindle e-reader back in 2007), and Amazon's not immune to failures (remember the Fire Phone that was released in July 2014 and discontinued a year later?).

But what should worry Apple is where Amazon is likely to take this technology.

Take the Amazon Fire range of tablets (tablets that saw a phenomenal 99.4 percent annual growth during 2016). It's worth noting that while the Fire tablets have a front-facing camera, Amazon's never really done anything with it.

Given that Amazon has already retrofitted its Alexa voice assistant to work on the Fire tablets, it follows that if Amazon is working on some system to rival Apple's FaceTime offering, then pushing it to the millions of Fire Tablets out there makes a lot of sense.

And why stop at Fire tablets? What about those millions of Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Tap devices that Amazon has shipped? They don't have a camera, but they've all got a Wi-Fi connection and an excellent speaker and microphone setup, and they could all become "telephones" in whatever system Amazon is developing.

And Amazon could easily expand this even further by developing an app for other platforms - including iOS - to support such a feature.

The one that will be directly affected by these developments is Apple iPad.

If Amazon can pull the Fire tablets and Echo devices together to create a communications platform along the lines of FaceTime or Skype, and continue to keep the pressure on Apple on both the price and Alexa features front, then this could very well be the end of the iPad.


  1. BradHill // March 11, 2017 at 6:12 PM  

    I would think the Google Assistant is the threat to Apple. Does Amazon even have a phone?

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