This portable version of Echo might be the first iteration of Amazon’s next attempt at the smartphone market after its Fire Phone flopped phenomenally. After all, once people use your portable voice operated device at home, why not add cellular connectivity and a touch screen to the next model?
It will be very interesting to see how exactly Amazon is going to present this device at launch.
As Apple is not-so-secretly working on his own car and Google continues its quest to a self-driving car with mainstream capability car makers are becoming uneasy. The coming move from combustion engine to electric vehicles and, after that or maybe even at the same time, the more drastic change to self-driving cars will change the industry fundamentally. Every top manager knows what happened to industries that changed fundamentally with the entrance of Apple or Google.
Hence: Both tech giants provide in-car entertainment systems that customers want. But everyone, especially the car makers, know that these systems are entry points to a coming rapid iteration that will lead to those tech companies moving ever closer to the center of the industry (where the profits are made). Car makers give their customers what they want, but they’d rather not hand the keys to kingdom over just yet. This is the point where companies start looking for allies and are looking to create competition by cooperating simultaneously with several parties.
By virtue of not being Apple or Google Amazon has a good starting position for talks about cooperations and integrations like this.