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With competition from Google Home by Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) and HomePod from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) joining the fray, Amazon has decided to up its game, releasing devices with a variety of functions that can be placed in every room of the house. Amazon believes that by getting consumers to buy one device, it may be able to rope them into its ecosystem, in a strategy that has been successfully used by Apple.


As both a heavy consumer of Apple products and an investor, this is one of the things that is annoying me about Apple. AMZN released the Echo Dot with a price point that allows it to be in every room of the house and to handle pretty much all of the HomeKit items AAPL got set. With the price point on the HomePod that AAPL is releasing, it is NOT going to be in every room in the house. For that matter, there will only be a few folks that will have more than one. The reason the iPhone owns the smartphone market is because they found a way to make it affordable while keeping their margins. HomePod does NOT do that, and it will not be able to make the inroads that AMZN has made.

I love Apple products and have boatloads, but I have an Echo Dot in basically every room in the house, and I am by no means the only person I know that has multiple Echos. Although I would prefer to use the HomePod, I cannot afford to put one in every room and the way I am using the products, I want them in each room a lot more than I want a great speaker system. I like being able to tell Alexa to add milk and eggs to the shopping list while I'm cooking and not have to do anything else.

I like the fact that the Apple Watch has the capabilities to handle most of the things, but again, the fact that I have to lift my wrist instead of simply saying "Hey Siri, ......" kills it. If I'm working on something and my hands are down in something, or holding something, or whatever, it doesn't work, whereas with the Echos, I simply say, "Alexa, ....". I love that if I need to talk to my kids in their room while I am doing something, I can tell the Echo Dot, "Alexa, drop in on ......." and it will work as a hands-free two-way intercom.

AAPL went partway with the AppleTV, but they did not finish the deal. The AppleTV could easily be the hub of the house, but the fact that you have to find the bloody remote to use it as a hub completely kills it. If they had added the voice capabilities to the AppleTV, they would not be able to keep them in stock anywhere.

Basically, Apple seems to be forgetting the "making life easier" aspect. I hope they regain it soon. The cellular on the Watch is a good start. Now, they need to find a way to get the HomeKit more ubiquitous.

Kathleen
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