Executive Briefing

Damn, that’s a lot of Amazon Alexa stuff

Amazon shows a key difference between itself and Apple.

Amazon Alexa devices
Courtesy Amazon

It has been hard to look away from the WeWork mess this week. But meanwhile in Seattle, Amazon announced EIGHT new Alexa devices on Wednesday, including AirPod-esque wireless earbuds, a multicolored smart lamp for kids, experimental glasses with built-in Alexa audio, and a ring for “quick access to Alexa on-the-go.” And even more stuff.

The big picture is that five years after introducing the original Echo speaker, Amazon continues to aggressively iterate on Alexa, its devices, and this big idea of voice computing.

It’s worth recalling how strange it was when the Echo first launched. A year later, it was a sleeper hit, and then quickly a household name. Amazon is a serious technology company — and is throwing a lot of money at Alexa — but it remains a little surprising that it has built a voice computing / AI assistant platform that still rivals Google’s and hardware that can still outsell Apple’s.

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Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

I’m a longtime tech and business journalist, and I’m excited to focus my attention on how technology continues to profoundly change how things are created, experienced, bought, and sold. The New Consumer is supported entirely by your membership — join now to receive my reporting, analysis, and commentary directly in your inbox, via my twice-weekly, member-exclusive newsletter. Thanks in advance.

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