家庭之战

If the first stage of competition in consumer technology was the race to be the computer users went to (won by Microsoft and the PC), and the second was to be the computer users carried with them (won by Apple in terms of profits, and Google in terms of marketshare), the outlines of the current battle came sharply into focus over the last month: what company will win the race to be the computer within which users live?

的公告

第一次公告三个星期前来自亚马逊:一个新的高端Echo Plus,Echo Dots,几个用于第三方立体声和扬声器(或其他回音)的Echo设备,以及更新的Echo Show(即带屏幕的回声)所有标准票价,然后事情变得古怪:该公司还宣布了微波炉,挂钟,智能插头,汽车设备和电视调谐器/ DVR,所有都内置Alexa。

接下来是Facebook:本周早些时候该公司推出了Portal,一个可以跟踪面孔的视频聊天设备,具有Alexa集成功能,以及一些第三方应用程序,如Spotify该设备是据报道延迟了去年春天正值公司与剑桥的影响分析”丑闻,而不是在数据中曝光的丑闻。

第三是谷歌:昨天该公司宣布Google Home Hub - 一个附带屏幕的Google Home,一个Echo Show - 以及Pixel 3手机和Pixel Slate平板电脑,以及Nest家庭自动化产品和Google Home生态系统之间更深层次的集成。

而且,当然还有Apple,它在今年早些时候推出了HomePod添加了一些新功能上个月有一个软件更新。

Each of these companies brings different strengths, weaknesses, go-to-market strategies, and business models to the fight for the home; a question that is just as important of who will win, though, is to what degree it matters.

优势

这些公司在家中的每一个优势都与其他地方的成功密切相关。

亚马逊:亚马逊应该排在第一位,这在很大程度上是因为他们是第一位的:谷歌收购了Nest在2014年,Nest本身就是以智能手机为连接家庭的中心亚马逊,然而,由于其电话故障,有自由想象连接家里的样子,自己的独立的实体,导致该公司在2014年底推出回声议长和Alexa的助手。

我曾是立即乐观,部分是因为Echo是失败的Fire手机所没有的一切:它的成功不取决于硬件和软件的集成,亚马逊等服务公司的改进基本上不适合,而是硬件和服务的集成这也有助于亚马逊拥有一个有意义的商业模式:一方面,Alexa的投资将为AWS的服务带来回报,另一方面,亚马逊的目标是占据所有经济活动的一部分是由定义围绕捕捉着日益增多的购买和消费在家里,和Alexa可能使这更容易。

这导致了Alexa生态系统发展的早期领先,无论是在“技能”方面还是在包含Alexa的设备方面正如我在2016年所指出的,这使得Alexa亚马逊的家庭操作系统,今天Alexa有超过30,000技能并且内置于20,000台设备

但是,这让亚马逊最近宣布更有趣:亚马逊不仅仅满足于成为第三方设备的语音助手,它还直接制造这些设备这可能是亚马逊最强大的优势:因为亚马逊是如此占主导地位,公司可以拥有自己的蛋糕,也可以吃掉它That is, just as Amazon.com is both a marketplace and a channel for Amazon to sell its own products, Alexa is both a necessary component of 3rd-party devices and also a driver of Amazon’s own devices; the company faces no strategy taxes in its drive to win.

谷歌:Google was very late to respond to Alexa; the original Google Home wasn’t announced until May 2016, and didn’t ship until November 2016, a full two years after the EchoThe company was, as I noted above — and as you would expect for a market leader — locked into the smartphone paradigm; an app plus Nest was its answer, until Alexa made it clear this was wrong.

Google, though, has started to catch up, and the reason is obvious: if a home device is about the integration of hardware and services, it follows that the company that is best at services — consumer services, anyways — would be very well-placed to succeed该公司在行动/技能方面仍然落后于Alexa(大约2,000)和第三方设备(超过5000),但谷歌的核心功能非常强大,可以自行销售设备还有更多的Echoes被出售,但是Google Home正在迎头赶上

为此,一个更有趣的外卖昨天的谷歌活动谷歌在多大程度上依靠自己的服务来销售其设备:该公司不仅宣传了Google智能助理的帮助,而且还突出了YouTube的特色,特别是在谷歌家庭中心的背景下这特别值得注意,因为谷歌的YouTube回声显示的功能,清楚地记住这个产品Google is also including six months of YouTube Premium with a Google Home Hub; indeed, every Google product included some sort of YouTube subscription product.

苹果:HomePod正是您对Apple的期望:最高价的最佳硬件声音非常好,如果你买两个,自然会更好HomePod也是 - 正如您对苹果的期望 - 再次锁定在Apple生态系统中;1this is from one perspective a weakness, but this is the Strength section, and the reality is that people are more committed to their iPhones — and thus Apple’s ecosystem — than they are to home speakers, meaning that for many customers this limitation is a strength.

沿着这些线路,苹果显然是最具吸引力的选项从隐私的角度来看:该公司不卖具有高度针对性的广告,使得隐私公共优先级,因此唯一的选择对于那些担心有联网麦克风在他们的房子里。

Facebook:也许最引人注目的门户是历史介绍我陷害了家里的战斗后,争夺桌子和战斗的口袋里尽管如此,还是进行了干预启用那些为物理空间而战的人具体而言,PC为互联网创造了条件,这反过来又使得可以访问互联网的智能手机如此引人注目Smartphones, then, created the conditions for social networking (including messaging) to infiltrate all aspects of life.

Might it be the case, then, that just as the Internet was the key to unlocking the potential of mobile, so might social networking be the key to unlocking the potential of the home? That appears to be Facebook’s bet: sure, the device has some neat hardware features, particularly the ability to follow you around the room or zoom out during a call, but neat hardware features can and will be copied如果门户是为Facebook成为一个成功的企业,它会因为搭配Facebook的社交网络让这个设备引人注目。

弱点

所以通常情况下,每个公司的弱点是他们的力量的逆:

亚马逊:亚马逊是不善于消费者产品。根据我的经验,它的设备比竞争对手差2美学上和硬件功能的声音质量此外,亚马逊的蛮力技能方法 - 用户正确说话,而不是服务来解决问题 - 最初有助于提高技能,但可能更令人沮丧的用户体验。

Amazon also has less of a view into an individual user’s life; sure, it knows what kind of toothpaste you prefer, but it doesn’t know when your first meeting is, or what appointments you have这尤其是谷歌,也是苹果什么是更有价值:能买东西的声音,或被告知你最好离开早会统计?

谷歌:作为一款产品,谷歌的产品非常强大(还有其他弱点,我将在下面介绍)The company is the best at the core functionality of a home device, and it knows enough about you to genuinely add usefulnessIts products are also more attractive and better-performing than Amazon’s (in my estimation).

谷歌确实面临隐私问题:公司痴迷地收集数据 - 正如前首席执行官埃里克施密特所说的那样令人毛骨悚然,这可能会妨碍公司渗透家庭的能力也就是说,到目前为止,谷歌已经逃脱了Facebook级别的审查,并明智地将相机从谷歌家庭中心排除Google knows its advantage is in providing information; it has sufficient other avenues to collect it, without putting a camera in your bedroom.

苹果:苹果公司,甚至超过谷歌,似乎因其智能手机的成功而蒙羞This isn’t a surprise: the ultimate point of Android was to be a conduit to Google’s services; it follows, then, that if home devices are about services, that Google would be more attuned to the opportunity (and the threat)Apple, on the other hand, is and always will be a product company; the company offers services to help sell its hardware, not the other way around, and it follows that the company is heavily incentivized to insist that the iPhone and Apple Watch, which both offer attractive hardware margins and are differentiated by the integration of hardware and software, are better home devices.

此外,这也解释了Apple最大的弱点:与Alexa或Google智能助理相比,Siri的相对表现问题不在于琐事,而在于速度和可靠性与Alexa或Google智能助理相比,Siri一直比较缓慢且更有可能在转录中出错(并且,记录中,更有可能失败琐事问题)与往常一样,苹果公司是优势如何与弱点相悖的最有力的例子:正如像亚马逊这样的服务公司在产品方面的劣势是不可避免的,像苹果这样真正非凡的产品公司将面临服务方面的基本挑战

Facebook:如果Facebook门户网站的优势在很大程度上是理论上的,那么这些弱点是非常真实的:坦率地说,鉴于公司目前的公众情绪,该公司将推出Portal令人难以置信And, to be clear, that mood is largely deserved; I wrote last week about the company as a数据工厂,其中一个有说服力的例子就是Facebook如何让广告商使用为双因素身份验证提供的数字进行定位这有力地表明,从Facebook的角度来看,数据就是数据:一切都是输入,虽然公司可能会承诺Portal是私有的,但人们会想知道为什么有人会相信它们。

That noted, I actually suspect Portal data is private; this seems like more of an attempt to enhance the value of the Facebook graph, and thus the app’s stickiness, than to collect more data但问题是,Facebook不能期待细微差别,并且该产品的推出无论如何都支持该公司高管的论点确实是失去了联系吗

去市场

The various go-to-market possibilities for these four companies could very well have been folded into strengths-and-weaknesses, but they’re worth highlighting on their own, given how important an effective go-to-market strategy is in consumer products.

亚马逊:这可以说是亚马逊最大的优势:公司不仅直接访问世界上顶尖的电子商务网站和最大的零售商之一,因为这是他们,可以跳过一个零售商标记,它还将获得主要房地产:

亚马逊的首页有一个回声点

不仅是没有问题在消费者心中关于去哪里买一个呼应,也几乎不可能不知道此外,亚马逊还有第二个伎俩:它没有库存 any of its competitors’ 谷歌或苹果的产品,使收购他们,更麻烦。

谷歌:我强调这是谷歌主要弱点当它推出# MadeByGoogle线两年前但是,为了公司的信誉,它一直在努力建立自己的渠道如今,Google产品可在大多数非亚马逊电子商务网站以及百思买,Target和沃尔玛等零售商处使用The company has also invested in advertising to build awareness; there is still a long ways to go, to be sure, and go-to-market remains a Google weakness, but the company has impressed me with its work in this area.

苹果:对于Apple来说,这也是一个巨大的优势领域该公司显然拥有一个非常强大的渠道,无论是在线还是通过零售店Both reflect Apple’s biggest strength, which is its brand: there is no company that has more loyal customers, and those customers are tremendously biased to buy an Apple product over a competitor’s; they are also more likely to be receptive to Apple’s privacy message, perhaps because they care, or perhaps because that is the message that plays to Apple’s strengths.

Facebook:看起来公司从中学到了什么Facebook首先失败The Facebook First, if you don’t recall, was Facebook’s ill-fated phone; it was manufactured by HTC and was discontinued within weeks of launch根本没有证据表明客户想购买一个产品,是建立在Facebook集成,和当然没有有效的市场推广策略。

很难看到门户将不同:再次,定义特征是相机是你,一个很酷的特性理论,但奇怪的是不食人间烟火的与Facebook目前的市场观念Is the company really going to spend the millions necessary to market this thing? And if so, where is it going to be available to purchase? I can see why this product was designed; I see little understanding of how it might be sold.

商业模式

这也与优势和劣势联系在一起,但与上市战略一样,值得一提的是:

亚马逊:我在上面解释了公司的商业模式:亚马逊想要拥有房屋,因为它出售了大量用于家庭的物品这就是为什么公司愿意在Alexa设备上将其作为平台和零售商的优势发挥作用:获胜与公司的最终优势有着非常直接的联系。

谷歌:这里的商业模式有点模糊:谷歌通过拍卖中出售的广告来赚钱,其中赢家是由用户选择的That is a model that doesn’t work for voice in particular; affiliate fees are less profitable given that they foreclose the possibility of an advertiser forming a direct relationship with the end user注意到,视觉界面的引入也提供了广告的可能性。

更值得注意的是YouTube的合并:YouTube已经看到越来越多的订阅服务,包括YouTube Premium,YouTube TV和YouTube音乐所有这些都与谷歌的家居设计相结合。

The most compelling business case for Google, though, is the same as it ever was: maintaining a dominant presence in all aspects of a user’s life, not just on the go (in the case of Android) but also in the home provides the data for more effective advertising in the places where it makes sense不,Google可能不会销售那么多的语音广告,但语音互动会影响搜索中显示的广告,这非常值得。

苹果:Apple的商业模式是最直接的:HomePod显然是以盈利的方式出售,这是Apple的战略的一部分增加其当前用户群的货币化这也是一个限制:如上所述,HomePod比任何竞争对手都要贵得多。

Facebook:社交网络公司拥有最薄弱的商业模式故事:没有可供销售的附加服务,公司承诺不会使用Portal进行广告宣传,无论如何类似于谷歌的最佳理由:更多的数据和更多的参与意味着更多的机会来展示更具目的性的广告公司的其他产品。

赢家和输家

四家公司中至少有三家公司有令人信服的案例:

亚马逊:亚马逊的先声夺人是有意义的,它与其他产品的广泛整合意味着更多人可能拥有与Alexa集成的设备而不是该公司也非常积极地赢得胜利,并拥有商业模式来证明这一点。

谷歌:我发现谷歌的情况下最引人注目产品是不是唯一重要的事情,但这非常重要,谷歌是提供最佳产品的最佳人选它的服务非常出色,对用户的了解最为全面,其整体产品大幅度提升是的,它的上市比亚马逊更差,并且起步较晚,但现在还为时尚早。

苹果:苹果公司的用户群的忠诚不能被夸大了,特别是当你记住公司的用户群是最富有的客户即使他们的产品迟到并且与最糟糕的服务联系在一起,这也很难让苹果公司望出去。

Facebook:很难想象Portal如何不会成为失败者:公司没有自然的用户群,隐私声誉很差,没有明显的商业模式或市场策略。

有关系吗?

There is one final question that overshadows all-of-this: while the home may be the current battleground in consumer technology, is it actually a distinct product area — a new epoch, if you will? When it came to mobile, it didn’t matter who had won in PCs; Microsoft ended upbeing an also-ran

The fortunes of Apple, in particular, depend on whether or not this is the caseIf it is a truly new paradigm, then it is hard to see Apple succeeding它有一个很好的演讲者,但是其他的产品是更糟另一方面,HomePod与iPhone和Apple整体生态系统的紧密联系可能是它的优点:也许智能手机仍然是最重要的。

更广泛地说,情况可能是我们正在进入一个新的战争时代,其规模更接近小冲突而不是全面的战争智能手机是什么让智能手机比PC更重要的是他们一直和你在一起的事实Sure, we spend a lot of time at home, but we also spend time outside (AR?), entertaining ourselves (TV and VR), or on the go (self-driving cars); the one constant is the smartphone, and we may never see anything the scale of the smartphone wars again.

  1. 您可以使用HomePod作为服务Spotify的AirPlay议长,但你只是给一个愚蠢的议长[↩︎]
  2. 我还没试过Facebook的门户网站[↩︎]