Here’s how Amazon could bring smartphone enthusiasm back with Alexa



Android and Alexa

The early days of smartphones had everyone excited, with each generation of smartphone bringing something new and shiny. That enthusiasm carried consumers for years until each smartphone looked and more importantly acted like every handset out there. Now, with phones everywhere you look, it’s hard to get excited about the next one coming. That could change quickly if Amazon stepped in with its Alexa technology.

It sounds odd that Amazon could turn things in the smartphone world on its face. Who can remember its Fire Phone and the major failure it was? Not many. But Amazon wouldn’t have to make hardware at all to bring the Alexa technology to disrupt the space.

That’s the beauty of this idea. Amazon would just need to build a software bridge between Alexa and Android to have a huge potential base. This base would ramp up Alexa as a platform due to the big installed base of Android phones. In one fell swoop Alexa would be big, much bigger than it is today.

Amazon has been working to get Alexa to evolve into a full campaign, and this would certainly help. Imagine Alexa on your Android phone and you see what I mean. Being able to hit a button and speak to Alexa just as you do an Echo at home could be huge. Amazon wins as its technology grows by big margins and even Android wins with a completely new technology not present on iOS. It’s just an Android feature in addition to others out there.

Alexa wouldn’t add overhead to the phone as most things live in the Amazon cloud. This is even true of the skills that the company has been helping developers make. These skills are added functionality that can be produced by anyone and run on Alexa-enabled devices. The skills are not installed on hardware, they only exist in the cloud that Amazon controls, running on request by the user.

Amazon could run ads in addition to others already underway that show Android phone owners what they can do with the technology. Want information? Hit the button and ask Alexa, no matter where you might be. The phone is always connected to the web so Alexa can work almost anywhere as long as there is connectivity.

Sure there are already ways to do this in Android but that’s not the point. The objective is not to compete with Google Now or other apps, rather to have Alexa technology available. This could be promoted by Amazon to clearly show Android phone owners how to simply use it without a big learning curve. Hit button, get information.

If Amazon wishes to monetize Alexa for Android directly there are ways to do so. It could only allow it to be installed on Android phones bought from Amazon. It doesn’t matter who made the handset, just that it runs a release of Android that’s at least a couple of years old or newer. It doesn’t require Alexa branding.

Getting Alexa for Android could be limited to those with Prime subscriptions. This would likely generate sales of subscriptions similar to when the Amazon Echo was released.

Amazon could charge a nominal fee for the Alexa for Android app, perhaps a few bucks. If it takes off, this could generate revenue.

If the company wishes a huge release of Alexa then put no restraints. Phones bought from anybody can have Alexa technology onboard.

Putting Alexa on Android could get people talking, and that can get enthusiasm ramped up as it hasn’t for years. That’s what has been missing from the smartphone world for a long time, and Amazon can get it back. Is this idea far-fetched? Talkback and let me know.

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