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Apple’s strategy tax on services versus Google: Voice interaction becoming the “God particle” of mobile.


Stashed in: Google!, iPhone!, Siri, internet, strategy, Google

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Voice interface is the killer interface for the phone:

I picked voice interaction as my example for a reason. Apple and Google are hugely ambitious, and skating to where the puck is going to be in 5-10 years, not where it is today. The strategic importance of voice interaction for phones can’t be overstated. By analogy, the Higgs boson was called the “God Particle” by journalists because of it’s importance (though particle physicists generally disliked the phrase). Long term, sometime in the next 5-15 years, I think voice interaction will become the “God Particle” of mobile. See more detail on the rational for voice’s huge upside in my previous post. Normal human beings who struggle with computers, even modern touch interfaces, would love the experience of workable voice interaction. People would connect with their phones on a visceral emotional level. If Google maintains their lead in voice, and voice interaction becomes as common as I expect, then Nexus Android becomes the de facto premium phone. Voice interaction as the “God Particle” of mobile is explicitly clear to anyone who talks to Google about it. Apple knows this of course. We should never expect Apple to be best in services across the board. Rather we should ask if Apple can overcome their general strategy tax on services to make an exception for voice interaction, making it competitively first class. It’s certainly possible. But it would require overcoming a structural weakness that currently shows no signs of easing. Bucking the strategy tax for Siri might require someone similar to, well, Scott Forstall.  If I had to guess, it might turn out like maps, where Apple’s version is second best, but not by a huge enough margin to swing the complete experience. How big the market segment is that finds the premium service experience on Android decisive, especially around voice, only time will tell. 

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