In her much-anticipated annual Internet Trends report, Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker brings dire tidings for Apple.
By Meeker’s reckoning, shipments of the Apple iPhone may have peaked in 2015, with iOS poised to lose 11% market share overall this year. Android, by comparison, will grow its marketshare by 7% from 2015, she estimates.
For comparison, Meeker says that the Amazon Echo voice-powered home assistant is only just starting to take off — and it could be big, with customer adoption growing fast. Echo is up from around 200,000 units sold in the second quarter of 2015, to over a million units sold in the first quarter of 2016.
This is the important slide here:
Meeker says it’s a sign of bigger things to come for voice assistants like the Echo. The technology has finally gotten to the point where it’s reasonable that a person can talk to a gadget like an Echo and get an intelligible response — without having to wait more than a couple seconds for an answer.
And for customers, the promise of the Echo, along with future competitors like Google Home or the rumoured souped-up Apple TV, is a more natural interface. After all, humans can talk faster than they can type, and it doesn’t require you to stop what you’re doing.
Here’s that slide:
This makes Echo the vanguard of the shift towards voice. And developers are signing on, releasing new “skills” for the Amazon Echo’s Alexa platform, including the ability to call an Uber, play Spotify music, or order a Domino’s pizza. Meeker notes that the number of available skills for Alexa went from 14 in September 2015 to 950 in May 2016.
Next up, Meeker says, is bringing Echo-style voice controls to the automobile, which will accelerate the convergence between computers and cars. Ford is already doing some of this with its Ford Sync platform — which, incidentally, integrates with Amazon Echo.
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