Looks like smart speakers were popular holiday gifts as Amazon Alexa, Google Home top App Store charts

“The App Store charts always provide some interesting nuggets of information on Christmas Day and other big holidays as you can see the sudden influx of app downloads,” Benjamin Mayo reports for 9to5Mac.

“This year, the Alexa app for Amazon Echo smart speakers topped App Store free charts, hitting the #1 in a few regions, with Google Home also charting in the top ten. Smart speakers were a hot holiday shopping item this year for sure,” Mayo reports. “Customers waiting for Apple’s entrance into the smart speaker space will have to wait a bit. The HomePod was originally planned to be out in December, but Apple announced that it was delaying the launch until early 2018.”

Mayo reports, “Outside of the smart speaker realm, the Fitbit app made a strong showing on Christmas Day consistently breaking the top 10 best-selling free apps.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The HomePod delay was a big missed opportunity for Apple. Getting those millions lost to the ecosystem (including Apple Music) back is going to be much harder than simply selling them a smart speaker in the first place.

21 Comments

  1. They probably think that AI means “Hey Google/Alexa, what personal data have you gathered from my earlier questions that will let you try to sell me something today?”

  2. I’d say Apple is losing the race of public perception. I spent the last two days at a Future of Work conference. We had a breakout discussion about chatbots and virtual assistants and how they could improve our workflows.

    Even though everyone had their iPhones sitting on the tables in front of them, it was “Hey Alexa” this and “Alexa” that. She’s what comes to mind for the general public when it comes to creating new platforms with virtual assistants, not Siri.

  3. Apple should be severely ashamed of themselves if they are genuinely behind in their AI efforts as it would they’ve been sleeping and or too drunk to care. (Might be the lackadaisical Happy Hour priority Eddie Cue effect infecting the company. “How dry they are. nobody knows, how dry they are…”)

  4. I remember when Siri first came out and her great little party trick was “hey Siri, do I need to bring an umbrella?” prompting her to pull up the weather app. Sadly, she cannot even get my my voice dials correct consistently 5 years later. (Even for people I call all the time in my favorites list.) When she asks if she has the right person, if it’s wrong there is no way to correct. I ask for a phone number of a business in car play and she pulls up directions. inexcusable for a company with this many resources to have an unusable digital assistant. They need more M&A, pronto!

    1. As I have been saying of late she is massively improved in recent months and been near perfect in recent use and that was supported by the article on here yesterday and indeed another some months ago. So I think there is an element of urban myth developing around her falling behind a lot more than she actually has. Doesn’t exclude criticism, the slowness in development is poor, so criticism is warranted but it can become parrot like and unthinking in its own right if we aren’t careful.
      Alexa and Google Now or whatever iteration it is these days, both have their weaknesses in use, I just think expectations are not so high as ours, or not so objective.

  5. This does get very boring and we all know how Apple works. It was said that Apple was being in Augmented Reality and now we know the lunacy of that statement as in one leap the company has put itself at the forefront of the technology. Thats the way they work they like to go in bounds rather than gradual updating so as to make a bigger impact when launched, a marketing tool and a way of stopping the opposition from grabbing on to their coat tails. Its a noting at times and a damn site frustrating when things like Siri don’t seem to be getting the love it deserves but making calls about how they have fallen behind is patently an ignorant assessment until they actually have evidence to that fact. There are times when there is some evidence to suggest that, the Homepod is one though this is more a tactical error years back rather than any falling behind in technological terms, but as yet AI isn’t one of them and you don’t make the first mainline chip to deal with it without plans and associated technology being at a very advanced stage.

    1. “It was said that Apple was being in Augmented Reality and now we know the lunacy of that statement…”

      Why do you or somebody like you have to say this EVERY time!?

  6. Siri still cannot discern between a music file and a video file with the same name. I have a few concert videos from iTunes where I also own the album and when I request that Siri play it, I get the reply that I cannot play videos while driving.
    Smart Girl, that Siri.

  7. I’m afraid that Apple is getting a lot like Microsoft. Too big. It probably takes 15 employees at Apple to hammer a nail into a piece of wood. (Also, about 15 minutes to do it.)

      1. Apple is going to include the new transporter technology. I hear it’s going to be worth the wait.
        Meanwhile, Siri still has challenges with my .mac email address. She prefers .mack and I call her an idiot in response. She then shames me, “for all I’ve done for you.” Then, I shoot her, the cops come and…

    1. as far as AI, I find that Apples friggin Spell check isn’t worth a crap,, if I’m texting or messaging, can it just assume that there is no word ‘Fir” and that I dont want a fir tree in the sentence?
      When typing this sentence, it wont even add the apostrophe in the word “don’t” half the time certainly not on my macbook either, and i’m not psyched about having to switch screens on the keyboard to find the ‘ Hey, but thats just me, and I’m only bringing up one of about 300 typos the thing makes, literally assuming you want a word that doesnt even exist. deny it all you want, I get so many texts from others complaining in conversation of typos, So Siri, I barely even try to use “her” and the “her” thing is a little creepy.

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