Study Shows Why Amazon Alexa is Well Positioned Against Apple and Google

Ben Bajarin, an industry analyst at Creative Strategies, on a study they did on the current state of the voice UI:

In anticipation of this and the many other “voice first” based products and experiences we believe will come to market in 2016-2017, we sought to do a quantitative study of Amazon’s Echo, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Ok Google. We conducted two separate studies in early May, since our intuition told us voice would be a major theme of Google I/O and at Apple’s upcoming WWDC. We focused the Amazon Echo study on our early adopter panel since we knew we would not get a statistically significant number of Echo owners in our mainstream representative US consumer panel. (…)

By spreading our study across 1300 early adopters, we found 13.86% of the panel owned an Amazon Echo. It came as no surprise to us the overwhelming majority of Echo owners also owned an iPhone (83.72%) as iPhone owners at large tend to show more early adopter tendencies vs. Android owners. What was most enlightening, in contrast to the Siri and Google voice study, was how different usage of the Echo was vs. Siri and OK Google. This was interesting both in terms of location of usage but also most common tasks.

Placing the Echo

Unsurprisingly, the Echo is overwhelmingly being used in the kitchen, but the living room is not too far off:

Usage of Amazon Echo

This certainly sets the Echo up for being a great way for (re-)ordering consumables one runs out off in the kitchen.

Using the Echo

Usage for the Echo is fairly mundane1 as well and indicative of its present (go-to-market as a wireless speaker, “play a song”) and future as a platform (smart-home hub, ” control smart lights”):

Usage of Amazon Echo

Echo owners are satisfied

Given the headstart, the only thing that could stand in the way of Alexa becoming a huge next-gen platform is if its “first best customer”, Echo, the first hardware manifestation for the voice UI, would somehow disappoint. And hence the usage and, after that, adoption of the platform would drop. This, crucually, doesn’t seem to be the case:

In terms of overall satisfaction from Echo owners, most were satisfied with the overall product but satisfaction ranked highest when we asked specifically about the voice recognition capabilities of the Echo. (…)

Only 13% of Echo owners stated they noted declining usage since they acquired it. The top reason listed by those using it less was “the novelty of using my voice is wearing off”.

Read Ben Bajarin’s article on Tech.pinions for more insights on Apple’s Siri and OK Google.

More on this topic:

  1. Unsurprisingly, I would argue, given the state and progress of the whole market. You first need a significant installed base of hubs (or, at least, a hub) to create a meaningful mainstream market where companies can deliver a wide range of interconnected products. We’re getting there, slowly. 


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