“The Amazon Echo has captured the imagination of millions of consumers with its novelty, futuristic concept of a virtual assistant residing in your home and awaiting your commands,” Robert Lehar writes for Seeking Alpha. “This has led many pundits to call the Echo the next big thing in technology and the dawning of a new era where services replace hardware, spelling doom for product companies like Apple.”

“While many expect Apple to follow Amazon and Google and develop its own connected speaker, the Cupertino company has already revealed a product which, similarly to the Echo and Google’s Home, allows for listening to audio and interacting with a virtual assistant using voice commands but in a more personal and mobile way,” Lehar writes. “Enter AirPods.”

“AirPods are wireless headphones with ease of use, innovative user interface, and Siri controls. Apple leverages the fact that we are living in an increasingly mobile-centric world and introduces a product which, compared to the stationary concept of the Echo, better fits into the ecosystem of our multiple mobile devices accompanying us throughout the day,” Lehar writes. “Here’s TechCrunch: ‘After only a few days with Apple’s wireless AirPod headphones, it’s clear that there will be a huge platform business based on the reliable, persistent availability of a contextual artificial intelligence that can talk to you and receive commands.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote yesterday:

An LTE-enabled Apple Watch and a pair of AirPods would supplant a great deal of iPhone’s current functions.

Can’t innovate anymore, our collective ass.

As for the AirPods looking alien: Tape a pair of wires on the ends of each and you’ll see that they look very much like the type of earphones that everyone is very used to seeing by now (which, for those who remember, we weren’t used to seeing before iPod – people thought those looked “alien,” too). We’ll all get used to the lack of wires soon enough.MacDailyNews, September 14, 2016

Apple’s AirPods make Google Glass look even more ridiculous (if that’s even possible) – September 19, 2016
Why Silicon Valley is all wrong about Apple’s AirPods – September 17, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook: AirPods won’t fall out of your ears (with video) – September 14, 2016
What AirPods can tell us about Apple’s future – September 12, 2016
Hands-on with Apple’s new AirPods: Stayed in my ears, sounded awesome – September 10, 2016
Apple and a truly wireless future: AirPods are just the start – September 10, 2016
Whoever makes the first AirPods strap is going to get rich – September 8, 2016