Both Google and Amazon have special home devices that also come with a personal digital assistant; Google Home and Amazon Echo, respectively. As with all these voice assistants, each can do a few parlor tricks the others cannot, but not all function the same way. Is it time for Apple to put Siri into a box, Amazon Echo style?
Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant resides in the Amazon Echo devices which are tethered to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can download an Alexa app for your iPhone but that hasn’t met with much success or caused much competition for Siri. Google’s Home features Assistant which is on many Android-based smartphones, so it’s safe to say there is plenty of competition in the digital voice personal assistant segment these days.
Apple could put Siri into a box, just like Echo or Home. Indeed, rumors say Apple is working on such a device even now, but we know Apple works on far more products than it brings to market so take such consideration with a grain of salt and a dubious perspective. Should Apple put Siri into a box then we should expect Siri to do far more than she/he/it does now.
Think about this for a moment. Siri already works on about 1-billion iPhones and iPads, so Siri is far more mobile than Amazon Echo or Google Home. Siri works on Mac, iPhone, and iPad, so Siri is pretty much everywhere Siri needs to be. Including your TV with Apple TV and the Siri-in-a-Remote option.
Maybe there’s another question to ask.
Why should Apple put Siri into a box? Amazon Echo, often considered a big hit by technology media despite selling far fewer devices for far less than Apple sells Watch which is considered by the same tech folk as something of a dud, starts at about $50 and goes up to $180. Apple TV starts at $150, so there’s some parity on price, but not on functionality. After all, Apple TV lets you watch something, play games, view and buy TV shows and videos, and choose from hundreds of channels, while Amazon’s Echo and Alexa combo mostly listen and talk, though it can control and connect to a few household devices.
Here’s what I think is going on.
These voice-activated personal digital assistants are babies; they’re infants and are not likely to make it to elementary school any time soon. Also, I do not doubt that Apple is looking at a voice-activated Echo-like box, but one should ask, “Why bother?” After all, Siri is already on more than 1-billion Apple devices, so will the company’s faithful customer base be willing to pay out more cash for yet another device that does mostly what devices we have already do?
Apple could put Siri into a box, Amazon style, but I don’t think it will happen. We already have enough Apple boxes.