Headphones have become an essential item used in the most mundane or exciting daily tasks. From drowning out loud subway commutes to using the small speakers as a way to avoid conversations, it’s hard to imagine a moment in time where audio could only be heard via boomboxes or the radio. With each iteration of headphones, developers are including features like wireless/bluetooth capabilities, wireless charging and connectivity with virtual assistants like Siri to get consumers to spend hundreds of dollars for the latest electronic accessory. While Apple has dominated the bluetooth earbud market since debuting Airpods in 2016, Amazon is looking to join the competition with their own version of wireless earbuds featuring Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa.
Bloomberg shared the news of Amazon developing a true competitor to Apple’s AirPods earlier this months with the company pushing for superior sound quality and offering another way for consumers to utilize the popular conversation recording Alexa. Users will be able to ask Alexa to order items, play music, give the forecast and other popular demands. “AlexaPods” won’t offer built-in LTE which means the earphones will need to pair with a phone and most likely utilize an Alexa app. According to Counterpoint Research, Apple’s AirPods hold 60 percent of the market, so Amazon will need to make sure their pods will be able to play nicely with Apple, Google and Samsung’s wireless ecosystems. Last year Apple sold 14 to 16 million pairs of AirPods and the company won’t make it easy for any other developer to thrive in the market.
Bose, Jabra and Beats offer wireless earbud alternatives at competitive prices (compared to Apple AirPods $159-199 price tag) but very few electronic brands are competing with Apple’s brand recognition and advertising presence. Amazon hasn’t revealed a price or release date for their wireless earbuds but expect pricing close to Apple’s AirPods and a potential release date by the end of the year. Would you cop a pair of AlexaPods and break the Apple status quo? Or will you be investing in Apple’s upgraded AirPods 2 which feature an optional wireless charging case connectivity improvements and look exactly the same. Consider it the sequel that didn’t really need to made but will obviously make millions because… consistency?
Article By: Marcel “The Messenger” Jeremiah