Alexa’s real competition is still your phone screen

One of the big themes we’ve been tracking for a few years now is Amazon’s various attempts to make Alexa useful outside your home. Amazon has a very good value proposition for customers inside their houses: Echo speakers are great for music, timers and such in the kitchen, and smarthome controls.

Amazon clearly has ambitions to make Alexa the leading platform for ambient computing. But to do that, it needs more ubiquity than it can achieve right now. That’s one reason that Amazon was so excited to announce a partnership with GM to make Alexa available on those cars. It’s also one reason I was surprised to see the company didn’t announce any updates to the Echo Auto.

But the most obvious way to do that is to be the default assistant on...

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