Phil Schiller, Apple’s “Senior Vice President Worldwide Marketing at Apple was in Bengaluru recently to inaugurate the company’s app accelerator facility in Bengaluru where he a spoke to group of Indian app makers,” Kunal Dua reports for Gadgets 360. “Later during the trip, Gadgets 360 got a chance to sit down with Schiller and pick his brains on a wide variety of topics, both developer- and consumer-focussed.”
Some snippets from Schiller regarding Amazon Echo-like devices:
There [are] many moments where a voice assistant is really beneficial, but that doesn’t mean you’d never want a screen. So the idea of not having a screen, I don’t think suits many situations… I think voice assistants are incredibly powerful, their intelligence is going to grow, they’re gonna do more for us, but the role of the screen is gonna remain very important to all of this… There is an interesting question about role of voice-only products in comparison to the products that have voice, and screen, and touch, and I think that’s an interesting discussion about when is each appropriate, and what can they do in our lives. I think that’s interesting.
Schiller discussed Swift, Apple Store upgrade pricing, and more on Amazon Echo-like devices in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Amazon is way ahead of you guys, Phil. Obviously.
In late April, CNET reported that Amazon will likely reveal a new Echo device with a built-in screen this month [May]:
“While voice assistants can tackle simple commands, the screen could allow Alexa to respond to more complex queries, said Jan Dawson, an analyst at Jackdaw Research who didn’t have direct knowledge of the company’s plans. For example, voice shopping on the Echo today often requires users to wait and listen to multiple choices, but a screen could present those options all at once.” — CNET, April 28, 2017
Some prior commentary:
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.
There could be a psychological component to this that leads people use Alexa over Siri precisely because they know the Echo is there (it’s a physical object), but forget about Siri being everywhere, even on their wrists (because Siri is embedded inside devices that are “for other things” in the user’s mind (telling time, watching TV, computing, phone calls, etc.) and therefore “hidden” to the user. Hence, Siri gets forgotten and goes unused while people use Alexa…
Again: We believe people use Alexa because Amazon Echo is a physical manifestation of “her,” while forgetting about Siri even though she’s on their wrists at all times and/or in their iPhones and iPads because Siri is hidden inside objects whose primary function is something other than “personal assistant” in people’s minds (watch, TV, phone or tablet, as opposed to “Siri.”) Alexa is present thanks to the Amazon Echo. Siri is absent because she has no such counterpart; no physical manifestation.
Siri is a ghost. Alexa is that cool, fun, glowing tube right there on the counter.
Apple would do well to not discount the psychology behind why people use certain features, even though cold, hard logic tells them it’s a redundant and unnecessary product.
An “Apple Echo” device would sell in the millions of units per quarter and boost Siri usage immensely.
Wi-Fi router capabilities to be built into Apple’s Echo echo? — MacDailyNews, November 21, 2016
Apple’s Amazon Echo echo rumored to borrow trashcan Mac Pro design cues, could arrive at WWDC – April 28, 2017
Following debut of Echo Look with built-in camera, Amazon likely reveal new Echo device with a built-in display – April 27, 2017
Apple said to be working on a Siri-based Amazon Echo rival – April 27, 2017
Apple’s Amazon Echo echo: What if AirPort Extreme becomes the Siri speaker? – December 1, 2016
Apple abandons development of wireless routers – November 21, 2016
Apple’s Amazon Echo echo – September 26, 2016
Apple’s Amazon Echo rival said to include includes built-in cameras to read users’ emotions, recognize faces – September 23, 2016
Apple’s Siri-powered Amazon Echo-like device reportedly now in prototype testing – September 23, 2016
Why an ‘Apple Echo’ would be a hit – June 15, 2016
New Apple TV to take on Amazon’s Echo, source says – May 26, 2016
Apple preps Amazon Echo rival, opening up Siri – May 24, 2016
Apple should make a stationary voice command device like Amazon’s Echo – May 19, 2016
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
Why did Apple buy a startup whose tech can read emotions via facial recognition? – January 7, 2016
Apple buys Emotient, maker of artificial-intelligence tech that reads emotion by analyzing facial expressions – January 7, 2016