Stacey Higginbotham: Amazon just pulled an Apple on the smart home

Print Email

That’s one way to look at the Alexa-powered microwave oven.


From Higginbothan’s Stacey on IOT:

At its event Thursday in Seattle, the online retailer attacked several pain points associated with the smart home to create a vision for the user experience I associate with Apple. Yes, Amazon’s efforts here could create such a high-quality experience that it should be compared to the hardware and software that Apple assembled back in 2007 to create the world’s first true smartphone…

It’s important to note that in assembling its solutions for the smart home, Amazon is attacking this challenge from two ends: the consumer experience and the developer experience. Again, this is similar to Apple’s efforts with the smartphone, and there’s no doubt Amazon hopes its efforts have a similar effect. If it can raise consumer demand for Alexa-enabled products, and make the developer experience very easy, both sides will have to participate in the Amazon ecosystem or risk missing out…

All in, the 70 announcements Amazon made this week are helping create a cohesive, user-friendly smart home. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. Most people expected Apple to give it to us, but I think Amazon just beat Cupertino to the punch.

My take: Higginbothan, my go-to expert on the Internet of Things, may be right. But it’s hard to imagine Apple ever doing what Amazon did this week. Amazon moves fast. Apple sweats the details. Amazon packed 13 brand new devices into one keynote. Apple had four—three phones and a watch—each a new version of a last-year product.