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Amazon Invites Apple to Integrate Services with Echo Speaker

While rumor has suggested that Apple is developing its own answer to Amazon’s Echo voice assistant speaker, before that hits the market, Apple could allow many of its services to be integrated with Amazon’s offering – and on Amazon’s invitation, too.

At a press conference following the European launch of Echo, Amazon UK country manager Doug Gurr told the INQUIRER that his company is willing to let other companies arrange for their services to be used with Echo. Examples put to him included those of listening to music through Google Play Music or utilizing the voice assistant Google Now.

Gurr explained: “We have a music API that’s open. At the end of the day, the more services we integrate with the better. It’s the same answer I give for Apple. The door is open. That’s better for the customer”. Alexa, the voice assistant inside Echo, can already be integrated with Spotify for voice-controlled music streaming – and it isn’t obvious why Apple Music couldn’t follow suit, given that Apple has made its music streaming service available on Google’s Android platform.

Still, it’s possible that Apple would be cautious about which of its services it would make compatible with Echo, given the Cupertino company’s relatively closed ecosystem and hardware-first philosophy. To this end, Apple might be too eager to attract its customers to its own Siri-powered speaker, though it remains unclear when exactly that device will launch.

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