“Amazon.com sure did stumble on a sleeper hit with its Echo speaker,” Evan Niu writes for The Motley Fool. “When the product was first introduced a couple years back, the initial reaction was fairly muted. Isn’t Echo little more than a Bluetooth wireless speaker?”

“But the real reason why Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa became so powerful within Echo was specifically because the device was not a mobile device, which is somewhat counterintuitive at a time when mobile devices are all the rage. By choosing to make Echo a stationary device that’s plugged in all the time, Amazon was able to change the consumer expectation. Echo would always be on, and Alexa would always be listening from a centralized location,” Niu writes. “That was the key that surprised the market.”

“Particularly in the context of smart home use cases, this is a huge advantage. Many other virtual assistants reside on smartphones (or tablets), and the user has to wonder where the device is, whether or not it’s plugged in and charged, and if it’s actively listening for input,” Niu writes. “Ironically, Apple was the first to the virtual assistant market with Siri, but has arguably fallen behind despite its first-mover status… With the recent demonstrable demand for voice-powered stationary speakers with virtual assistants, it seems like a no-brainer that Apple should introduce a similar product.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Funny, we just say “Hey Siri” and there she is – everywhere and at all times – because she’s on our wrist during every waking hour, wherever we are, in every place, not stuck on a table in one room somewhere.

That said, there clearly is a market for such stationary devices that can be plugged into the wall, not dependent on battery power. As we wrote last month:

Something along the lines of Amazon Echo is what Apple should have done if run by competent, forward-thinking management. When Apple finally does do their version of Amazon Echo (and they will get around to doing such a product eventually) they will rightly be called a follower. The company had all of the ingredients to make their own Echo, before Amazon, except for the vision, it seems.

Google unveils its Amazon Echo knockoff called ‘Google Home’ – May 18, 2016
Where’s Apple’s answer to Amazon Echo? – March 31, 2016
Amazon Echo leads mindshare in smart home platform war – February 29, 2016