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Tim Wilson
Re: Apple to ditch Intel?
on Apr 8, 2018 at 10:41:20 am

[Brett Sherman] "I own Mac computers and iPhones, but I much prefer the Amazon ecosystem."

I've mentioned my father's heritage at Apple before -- starting there in 1979 as Apple's first Director of Operations, where he set up large-scale manufacturing, the first sales channels, created the Apple Store, and much more, including being the one on stage to introduce Steve at the internal Mac rollout in 1984, and sitting next to Steve in the executive session in 1985 where John Sculley unveiled the new org chart that had Steve nowhere on it. You're not going to find many people on earth who bleed more Apple red than him...

He first dove into Google Home because of the integration with search, YouTube, and home control, but has since gone all-in on Amazon. Refilling the larder with voice commands to Amazon Fresh, streaming music, home control, general search queries, much improved sound quality, apps integration, etc etc.

I think he'd buy an Apple offering at least as an experiment if there was any thought that it would actually be vaguely compelling. After you've played around even a little with Google and Amazon's AI, though, it's clear how very, very short of the mark Siri falls....which is why Apple just hired away Google's former head of AI. He did a lot with AI behind voice-driven search, and if you've ever done head-to-head searches even with an iPhone and an Android phone side by side, it's astonishing (and for Apple, embarrassing) how much better Google's works.

And of course, with AI at the heart of what Apple wants to do with the car-driver-world interfaces and interactions, this might be Apple's most important hire since Tim Cook, if not Sir Jony. (I think we can safely call Apple's hiring of Steve in 1997 their single best hire. That has my father coming in at #5. Sounds reasonable. 😎)

What I was kind of getting at, though, is that Amazon has done a good job of using voice to drive not just their own stuff, but apps like Spotify, and even connects to local libraries of downloaded media that might include iTunes purchases. Why, it's almost like they understand that, as compelling as their own ecosystem is, it becomes still more compelling when people can add to it almost anything they want. 😂

So, as much as competitive-ish pricing, and voice-driven AI that works roughly as well as Google and Amazon's, I'd want to see some notion that Apple understands ecosystem extensibility here as well as they do in the App Store (where Netflix and Spotify happily suck the life out of the dessicating husk of the iTMS)....but I don't know how realistic that is to expect.

Apple's gonna be fine without any of this of course. They don't need to win in any of these races as long as they keep sticking the landing with devices and computers. And I really am excited to see what they might do as the UI for driving. Cars are the most expensive device that most of use, and as much as I like my car (and I like it a lot), I've never seen any car that's especially impressed me with its understanding of how I want to operate it. Apple DOES get this for devices, even moreso than for computers imo, so I'm ready to see what they've got.

And once Apple cracks this nut, I'm excited to see what their competitors do to kick it up another couple of notches. 😂


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