Today is clearly contrarian day, I want to highlight some thinking on Above Avalon about the Apple Watch, which is positioned against smart speakers from Google and Amazon. Quoting from the piece:
In fact, it is only a matter of time before it becomes clear the stationary home speaker is shaping up to be one of the largest head fakes in tech.
I don’t think stationary smart speakers represent the future of computing. Instead, companies are using smart speakers to take advantage of an awkward phase of technology in which there doesn’t seem to be any clear direction as to where things are headed. Consumers are buying cheap smart speakers powered by digital voice assistants without having any strong convictions regarding how such voice assistants should or can be used. The major takeaway from customer surveys regarding smart speaker usage is that there isn’t any clear trend. If anything, smart speakers are being used for rudimentary tasks that can just as easily be done with digital voice assistants found on smartwatches or smartphones.
The piece also highlights data on sales – approximately 35% of iPhone users in the US now wear an Apple Watch, and per Apple, 75% of Apple Watch sales will be first time customers – where Watch growth will be the size of the entire Fitbit install base every 12 months.
Why do we care?
Here’s why we care – I’m tracking the adoption of voice, not specifically smart speakers. There is a lot to learn here about Apple’s health play, but that isn’t the key point.
Voice is still a force – both on the Watch AND on the smart speakers. Regardless of which device class wins or dominates, voice is on both. I’m still convinced there is opportunity in voice, and my takeaway here is to be more precise with about voice versus smart speakers.
Source: Above Avalon