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Amazon Devices Event – September 2018

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by chicks, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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  2. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,992
    Location:
    The Big Valley, CA
  3. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,992
    Location:
    The Big Valley, CA
  4. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    The Link looks cool. Too bad it doesn't have Alexa built in, but I guess you could pair it to a DOT. Would be interesting to know how it gets a signal. Is it just connecting via Bluetooth to the Dot or using some other technology?
     
  5. cpt_paranoia

    cpt_paranoia Well-Known Member

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    Socket layout on that amp is pretty poorly thought out; in/out/shake it all about...
     
  6. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    Probably an Alexa Cast target, just like all Echo and Sonos devices are now. Works great. They’re also talking about Link protocol, maybe a new way to connect, haven’t dug in too deeply.

    New Input is even cheaper than Dot, and smaller. No speaker.

    I’m thinking the Show as command center, to call up music via voice and visualize, but playing through Link Amp to good speakers. Show can only do this today via Bluetooth, with all its limitations, so this would be great.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018

     

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  7. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    That would be a nice setup. They say they improved the mics which was almost a necessity for these devices.
     
  8. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    Amazon has a commanding lead in the home, and is now looking to the car, as well. At MegaCorp Google GSuite and Microsoft still rule, but most server apps are migrating to Amazon’s AWS (and, of course, Salesforce).

    My home is primarily Alexa, though I do have a Google Home for the few things Alexa doesn’t yet do as well. Alexa and Google in the car, too. Never could understand the Apple attraction, Apple is still far behind at just about everything, and greatly overpriced, IMO.

    https://www.cnet.com/news/amazons-e...-get-redesign-on-the-way-to-world-domination/

     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
  9. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Comparing Apple to Amazon is like comparing Apples to Oranges, they aren't in the same market, even if they have a couple products/technologies that overlap to some extent. Amazon is a data collection company and an online store. They can sell you these devices at much lower price points because they make it back by selling you other products. I don't bet against their strategy because it enables them to sell you a deeply discounted Dot that isn't priced bad to begin with. It also gets them into your home where they can make it easy to buy groceries or any number of products. That being said, most of the stuff they announced this week are niche devices. The stand alone speaker is where they have their market share and I bet a vast majority of that market share is made up of sub-$50 devices (on average).

    Apple is about the iPhone. No other company makes a device that really competes with it when you consider how it feeds their entire ecosystem. You can call it overpriced, but that is an opinion. The market shows that they sell a hell of a lot of them at the current price, so it is priced according to demand. They aren't battling Amazon in the home either. Their goal is different. They want to sell premium ("luxury") products that keep you happy in their "garden". They aren't approaching it as a data mining venture or as a way to sell you Windex.

    I am a big fan of both companies. While I am a fan of Amazon, they don't compete with the iPhone, the Apple Watch, the iPad, the Mac, etc. It is hard to argue that they even compete with the HomePod because none of their devices come close to its sound quality or have mics that make it a pleasure to use when music is playing. In other words, they have very different goals. Apple's business is built around products and an ecosystem and Amazon's is a big data company that sells you anything.

    The iPhone (currently) guarantees that Apple can take its time and makes its own determination of what markets they want to be in.

    Personally, I own Echo Devices and they are great. The problem is that Apple beat them to my pocket with the iPhone and is staying there with their continuity features and Airplay. That has informed my choice to buy a HomePod, an Apple Watch, Mac, iPad, etc. Where is Amazon in these markets? No where to be found. Alexa, as good as it is, isn't as good with music as my iPhone or HomePod. While Alexa is better than Siri in a lot of different ways, especially skills, it doesn't have control of the iPhone which means it is limited or nonexistent on a lot of very popular devices... including CarPlay that just added Google Maps.

    One thing that we see is a lot of is estimates of market share of these devices.... and they are all just estimates because Amazon and Apple don't break out the numbers. We haven't seen comparisons of profits. Maybe if they break out those numbers, Apple's 6 percent of the market, without even having a holiday season or full year under its belt, will give us a better idea of why Apple isn't concerned. Also, these market share numbers don't include the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, AirPods, BeatsX...that all utilize Siri. Buying a $30 Dot doesn't mean that the same individual doesn't also have or want a HomePod for Christmas this year.

    Just as a reminder:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/11/app...amazon-has-generated-during-its-lifetime.html

    "Apple made more profit in three months than Amazon has generated during its lifetime

    • Apple is vastly more profitable than Amazon.
    • The smartphone maker generated a $48.35 billion profit during its fiscal 2017 and made $13.8 billion in net income during the March 2018 quarter, while Amazon's total net income since inception is about $9.6 billion"
    Personally, I don't care about market share or profits. I just care about how the products interact with my life. It is why I have products from both companies. It isn't like sports where I have one jersey and cheer for one team.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
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  10. nedseg

    nedseg AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    So, the 'peer to peer' communications between Alexa devices is a pretty interesting development, esp if can handle video (from their new DVR to a Fire Stick?).
    I'm curious about what they are using for that 'mesh' network between Alexas (chatty things aren't they?) - anybody know?

    I think it may open up an entire new range of applications (like their silly microwave thing, or AC outlets - brings back memories of RatShack X10!) & could be a real game changer.
    And that DVR is by itself a dang clever solution - no HDMI, no TV needed, so you can place it 'hidden' and "up high' for best antenna placement. I'll be very curious to see reviews and get more tech info about it.
    Sort of hope you can turn off the Alexa mics, though.
    That might just be 'good enough' for me to finally give up on the Media Center DVR I'm running on Win7, and has prevented me from upgrading to Win10!!
    Yay!
     
  11. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    It may take some of the Tivo client base because it appears there won't be a fee for the guide. I have a Tivo that I use with cableTV and I made sure it also had OTA capabilities in case I decide to go to a streaming service and supplement it with the Tivo and OTA. This would definitely be an interesting device from that perspective. I am no hurry, so I can wait it out until the price drops on this device down the road. As you mentioned, I am interested in the reviews.
     
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  12. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Just to put some context on my prior post comparing Apple to Amazon:

    "According to the latest quarterly research from Strategy Analytics, global smart speaker shipments reached 11.7 million units in Q2 2018. The Google Home Mini was the world’s best-selling smart speaker during the quarter followed closely by Amazon’s Echo Dot. Apple’s HomePod did not feature in the top-five ranking by shipments but it did top the market value rankings with 16% share of wholesale revenues."

    In short:

    "Apple took a 6% share of shipments in Q2 2018 but it is the market leader in terms of revenue with 16% share and holds a dominate 70% share of the small but growing $200+ premium price band”.


    https://news.strategyanalytics.com/...gle-home-mini-accounts-one-five-smart-speaker

    As I mentioned, the cheap sub-$50 devices are dominating the market share. Apple doesn't compete in that market and I would be very surprised if they ever did.
     
  13. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    Lol, I saw that. VERY safe bet that Sonos has shipped far more Ones at just below that $200 "premium" threshold. Nearly every review I've read puts the One ahead of the HomePod in just about every category, and a pair of Ones well above a HomePod in SQ, at nearly the same price.

    But, people trust the Apple brand, which is fine. My entire family loves them, mostly because they are technophobes. I've just never been a fan, and I have an iPhone and two iPads from work, but much prefer the superior offerings (IMO) from Samsung for personal use. But I spend much of my time at a 'nix prompt at work, so I'm not Apple's target customer.

    I love the original Show, will probably get the new one once they are discounted. Or maybe the Google version. Both will integrate with all my Sonos gear via voice, and eventually via touchscreen. No walled gardens for me, thanks! ;)

    Apple also sell a lot of crap under the Beats brand, so not just premium offerings.
     
  14. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    If I wasn't in Apple's ecosystem, I might favor Sonos or I would just stick with all Amazon devices. I am happy that I use iOS because it has given me a 360 degree speaker that has mics that can hear me over music and will control music my AppleTV/main system while I am sitting on the couch. As I said before, I and most likely plenty of other people, don't want to pair 2 of them. For my needs, I just need it to supply decent background music to three spaces and control other Airplay 2 devices. I would need at least 2 Sonos just to make up for the fact that they are directional.

    The other stuff has been discussed over and over. Apple is about their entire ecosystem and everyone from technophobes to MKBHD use their devices. It is easier to use out of the box, but continuity features and workflows (Siri Shortcuts/Automation on the Mac) can give a tech-head more than enough reasons to have an iPhone/Mac. I agree that Samsung is harder to use out of the box. My girlfriend has one and because I am the tech-head, I am supposed to be able to solve all of her issues with it. I doubt I would have the same ongoing issues if she had an iPhone.
     
  15. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,992
    Location:
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    Picked up a Google Home Hub. It's clearly a big leap ahead of Amazon's Echo Show right now, at least the original Show, which I also own, for music, and a lot more.

    First, it can be configured to default play music on any other Chromecast device. Like Show, you can ask it to play elsewhere, but the Show can't be configured to default elsewhere. Unlike the Dot, voice responses will still play on the Hub, which makes sense, even while configured to play music elsewhere.

    Killer feature, though, is that you can monitor what's playing on any other Chromecast device on the Hub. Show has nothing like that; when starting a stream on Show to another device, the music doesn't display on Show.

    The Hub's display is small, but there's a light detector that adjusts for both ambient intensity and color, resulting in a gorgeous, glare-free display, with much higher apparent resolution than it has any right to. With Google's fine art cycling through, along with time and temp, while idling, it's both useful and educational.

    Amazon is throwing a bunch of things at the wall to see what sticks. Google has just this one new home device, but it's a home run. Once Sonos finally integrates Google Assistant, I'll be switching from Amazon to Google, with a Hub in several rooms to control and monitor the existing Sonos speakers.
     

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