Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is hands down the winner of the early innings of the smart speaker wars.
Its Echo speakers and other devices, along with its Alexa voice assistant, have become ubiquitous in U.S. homes. Amazon clearly dominates the market, enjoying an early-mover advantage along with tight integration with its other services.
With Facebook set to launch its own smart speaker soon (which is reportedly called “Portal”), Mashable notes that the social media giant has very little chance to compete in the crowded space:
I’m not trying to pick on Facebook but, of everything we’ve heard about the yet-to-be-revealed Portal speaker, nothing suggests that it can overcome what will likely be its biggest hurdle: that nobody trusts Facebook anymore. If you think an Alexa-enabled microwave sounds creepy, how do you think people will react to a Facebook-branded smart speaker with an AI-infused camera?
I’m not saying that one company has better or worse intentions than the other. There’s plenty of reasons to be skeptical of both. But Amazon has some considerable advantages that Facebook doesn’t.
The advantages include being first to market, having multiple generations of devices now (with accompanying design and feature improvements), and a general trust from consumers that Facebook clearly lacks.
Amazon.com, Inc. shares closed at $1,915.01 on Friday, down $29.29 (-1.51%). Year-to-date, AMZN has gained 63.75%, versus a 10.35% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.