Amazon Alexa has become a pretty big part of Amazon’s core business. In fact it’s one of the four pillars of Amazon’s business, the other three being Prime, the marketplace and AWS. It has over a thousand skills and can do anything from calling you an uber to playing music. At the moment it only comes with the Echo speaker which has sold 3 million units since its release in 2014. It is also the center of Amazon’s future plans for a music service as cheap as $4. Now, Lenovo has entered talks to bring Alexa to PCs.
According to CNET, meetings have been scheduled between Lenovo and Amazon to discuss bringing Alexa to their personal computers and other devices. This information was sourced from a Lenovo executive who had knowledge of the meetings. Lenovo has been trying to spice up its PCs lately like replacing its keyboard with a touchscreen in the new Yoga Book. It’s for good reason, PC sales are projected to decline 7.2 percent worldwide this year alone. Next year a further 2 percent drop is predicted. Who knows? Declining sales might pull a 180 if Alexa is on board, if just slightly.
It’s hard to see where Alexa would fit in with PCs though. Microsoft has Cortana, Google covers the Chromebooks and Apple has Siri for its Macbooks. And then there’s the mobile device world which is covered by much of the same. However, it would certainly be a first for Alexa.
Sudden interest in bringing Alexa to PCs can be explained by research done through CIRP (Consumer Intelligence Research Partners). They’ve observed that it’s used for far more than playing music on the Echo speaker. Alexa is used for controlling smart devices around the home, the news, the weather and checking your bank balance. Successful sales of the Echo speaker show that the voice assistant is succeeding at gaining a reputation as an all purpose tool, not just a music player.
Alexa has made its way to other devices though. Invoxia, a small company you may know nothing about, brought it to its Triby Speaker earlier this year. Sonos has also announced that it will be bringing the voice assistant to its devices and LG has adding it to the upcoming SmartThinQ smart speaker.
Amazon’s expansion into tablets and smartphones was a failure on the whole. No one really cared about its line of Fire devices. But with the new Prime service and Echo speakers, the retail giant seems to be on the rise. It’s niche market seems not to be mobile devices but software.
“It’s just the tip of the iceberg, there’s so much more to come.”
-Jeff Bezos (CEO Amazon)