Alexa Takes On Google Assistant With Oz Launch Confirmed
Amazon has confirmed its smart voice assistant ‘Alexa’ will land in Australia next year, which commentators tip will significantly impact rival Google Home, who is still yet to offer a diverse range of connected devices.
In the United States, Amazon’s Alexa supported ‘Echo’ devices dominate the smart speaker market, boasting a 70.6% market share compared to 23.8% for Google Home.
Many commentators expect Alexa to make quite an impact in Australia, following a large number of third-party devices which have already pledged to offer Alexa support.
As previously reported by ChannelNews, Alexa integration was undoubtedly the star of CES 2017.
Sonos has announced that its newly launched ‘Sonos One’ smart speaker will offer Alexa support once launched in Australia next year – the company affirms that the integration requires “dedicated engineering work and testing” to bring Alexa to Sonos.
Following Alexa’s launch, recent research tips that many households will be divided into ‘Google houses’ or ‘Amazon houses’, with consumers admitting that they wouldn’t consider a competing brand’s device, after already purchasing a smart voice-enables speaker.
Vice President of Amazon Alexa, Toni Reid, affirms the company is excited to launch in Australia:
“The customer response to Alexa and Echo has been incredibly positive, and we’re excited to make them available for our Australian and New Zealand customers early next year”.
Amazon has revealed its local partners who will reportedly integrate their services with Amazon’s Alexa/Echo devices:
Sky News Australia, Fox Sports, Qantas, Dimmi, Taste.com.au and Coastalwatch.
Reports reveal that developers within these organisations have already received an early preview of Alexa’s skill set, and are already creating ‘Alexa skills’.
Once launching to Australia’s Amazon’s Echo smart speaker range will directly compete with Google Home and Apple’s HomePod.
Some commentators speculate that Alexa’s launch may not be totally problem-free, noting that rival Google has already accumulated years of Australian data from its various applications, and that Amazon will have to ‘catch up’.