M.G.
Great post, I agree with a lot of it. I’ve covered a lot of this in depth, so I wanted to highlight two of your key points, because I have some other Medium stories that go deeper into the competative dynamics you noted…

I. Apple’s structural disadvantage

“…the issue I see here is one of strength in numbers. That is, Amazon is winning this battle because they’re putting Alexa everywhere. Some of this is thanks to third-parties, but a larger part is the strategy to sell devices [cheaply] such as the Echo Dot for $29… Apple cannot compete with this because it’s not in Apple’s DNA to run this type of playbook.”

Spot on. Apple structurally cannot compete on this soil. The following stories explore that in more depth…

II. The race for ubiquity

“All of this begs the question of what Amazon does to get Alexa truly everywhere… They’re clearly doing great in the home, with people buying up Echoes to put in various rooms… But what about making Alexa the only digital assistant you need no matter where you are?”

Google wins ubiquity. Period. Or, as I’ve said, ‘Amazon is leading out of the gate, but Google will lead the field around the first turn.’ In other words, it’s Google’s race to lose. To wit, your point is prescient: Amazon’s challenge is to sell enough of these devices that it’ll be too late for anyone else to subsume their marketshare — whether due to an entrenched developer ecosystem, consumer familiarity, or the refresh cycle…

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