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苹果居然霸占了这个市场的高端

Aaron Pressman 2018年10月08日

今年9月,苹果发布了适配iPhone和iPad的iOS 12软件,同时升级了HomePod的系统。HomePod终于可以设置多个定时器和接打电话了。

作为媒体人,我们自己也试用过不少家用扬声器,比如亚马逊的Alexa、谷歌的Home和苹果的HomePod等等。到目前为止,大家的共识是,价格最高的HomePod的音质最好。但它的功能也是最有限的,它不能像其他竞品一样播放Spotify上的音乐,不能在TuneIn上听广播,也不能利用语音助手功能给我们的小狗买狗粮,或者回答其他一些琐碎的问题。更令人不爽的是,它必须要与一部iPhone连接。如果非让我买一部类似的智能家居产品,我会买一台小巧可爱的、圆形屏幕的亚马逊Echo Spot放在我的办公桌上,这样我每天的工作会变得更加愉快和高效。

今年9月,苹果发布了适配iPhone和iPad的iOS 12软件,同时升级了HomePod的系统。HomePod终于可以设置多个定时器和接打电话了。而亚马逊Alexa的电话功能则是通过一个连接固定电话的转接器实现的。(Alexa也可以直接给其他拥有Alexa设备的人打电话。)

一些市场研究公司认为,苹果是智能家居助手市场上的新丁,而且只发布了一款高端产品,因而它的市场占有率较低也不足为奇。但市调机构Strategy Analytics公司发布的一项近期调查显示,虽然今年二季度苹果在智能家居市场上的销量份额只占6%,但如果按批发收入计算,HomePod则可占到16%,在收入上几乎与市面上卖得最好的两款产品——谷歌的Home Mini和亚马逊的Echo Dot旗鼓相当。换句话说,在售价200美元以上的产品区间,苹果足足占据了70%的销量份额(和将近100%的收入份额)。

数字助手这个市场显然还有很大的发展空间。在Hulu公司最近拍摄的一部未来主义风格的电视剧《火星先驱者》中,2030年的人们都使用一种小型耳机,它兼具电话、电脑和智能数字助手的功能。目前,无人驾驶汽车技术方兴未艾,但我们在智能扬声器上走得并不算远。究竟是完美适配电脑和手机的苹果高端产品,还是紧盯卧室娱乐战略的亚马逊Alexa,还是其他竞争者将主宰这一新兴领域,目前还不得而知。总之,现在我们只需要继续听下去就好了。(财富中文网)

译者:朴成奎

In the Pressman household, we’ve tried several Amazon Alexa speakers, a Google Home assistant, and Apple’s HomePod. The general consensus so far seems to be that the HomePod, which has by far the highest price, has the best sound. But it’s also been the most limited in functionality. It can’t play our Spotify music or radio stations via TuneIn, take an order to buy more dog food for the pup, or answer trivia questions as well as the competition. And it can be annoyingly dependent on a linked iPhone. If I had to pick a favorite in the market right now, I’d go with the cute, round-screened Amazon Echo Spot sitting on my desk that makes my work day a little more pleasurable and efficient.

Apple updated the HomePod’s software alongside the release of its iOS 12 update for iPhones and iPads in September. Finally (I joke) you can set multiple timers. You can also directly make and receive phone calls, a trick our Alexa does only via a box that connects to our landline. (It can also call other people with an Alexa devices on its own.)

Apple was late to the game (not quite as late as Samsung) and has only a premium offering, so it’s probably not surprising that its market share in this incipient market has been pretty low, according the various market tracking firms. But a new analysis out from research firm Strategy Analytics recently offers a new view on the state of the market. While Apple had only a 6% share of devices sold in the second quarter, by wholesale revenue its HomePod had a 16% share, nearly equal to the dollars of sales brought in combined by Google’s Home Mini and Amazon’s Echo Dot, the two best-selling devices. Said another way, for devices that cost $200 and up, Apple has a 70% device share (and probably a near-100% revenue share).

There’s a long, long way to go in the digital assistant market. In Hulu’s new futuristic drama The First, people in 2030 use small earpieces that have the functionality of phones, computers, and smart digital assistants all in one. There are plenty of self-driving cars in sight, but no smart speakers. Whether Apple’s premium play, which obviously worked out great for computers and smartphones, or Amazon’s Alexa-for-every-room strategy, or another player wins out is yet to be seen. For now, we’ll have to just keep listening.

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