The difference in approach to Apple’s and Amazon’s personal assistant is telling.
Following Amazon’s lead, Apple is expected to announce its plans this coming week for expanding Siri, its voice assistant, to a large variety of app, in efforts aimed at mirroring Amazon’s runaway success with Alexa.
However, engineers and artificial intelligence insiders state, instead of casting a wide net, Apple is likely to stick to its time tested strategy of focusing on a fixed number of features and perfecting them.
Industry watchers have also predicted that Apple will announce a hardware similar to that of Amazon’s Echo speaker, which has been selling like hot cake.
Even if Siri were to double its area of expertise, it will still be lagging behind Amazon’s Alexa which can handle nearly 12,000 tasks.
This difference is a pointer to the different strategies adopted by the tech giants: while Apple’s betting on customers not using voice commands that get an appropriate human-like response, Amazon has puts no such restrictions on Alexa.
Despite the fact that Alexa makes a few mistakes, is has gained a sizeable loyal following.
The difference in approach could become key as companies try to monetize the consumer’s preference to shop online and make more money from online services.
Amazon described is Alexa strategy saying, “Our goal is to make speaking with Alexa as natural and easy as possible, so we’re looking at ways to improve this over time.”
As per venture capitalist Matt McIlwain from the Madrona Venture Group, Apple’s narrower focus is potential a concern.
“To attract developers in the modern world, you need a platform,” McIlwain said. “If Apple does not launch a ‘skills store,’ that would be a mistake.”