Huawei: Amazon Alexa Artificial Intelligence Will Come Pre-Loaded On Mate 9 Androids In US

Darien Cavanaugh

Huawei announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and via Twitter on Thursday that the Amazon Alexa artificial intelligence personal assistant will be preloaded on all Mate 9 smartphones sold in the United States.

"Huawei launched its flagship Mate 9 phablet in Europe and Asia late last year without the Alexa preload so it's evidently hoping to raise its profile in the U.S. with the help of Amazon's ecommerce empire," Natasha Lomas wrote in an article for Tech Crunch.

Huawei, which is based in China, has been preparing a major launch of the Mate 9 in the United States after having a hugely successful year in other markets. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Huawei became the most profitable Android brand in the third quarter of 2016. This was due in large part to huge losses suffered by Samsung after the South Korean firm had to recall all of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones from all markets due to multiple reports that the devices had been smoking, catching fire, or even exploding because of a design flaw in the battery.

— Huawei Mobile (@HuaweiMobile) January 5, 2017

"The smartphone voice assistant landscape is very fiercely contested, with Apple's now long-in-the-tooth Siri assistant battling it out with Google's redoubled efforts, in the form of an upgraded Google Assistant, currently available on its own hardware and via its Allo cross-platform messaging app," Lomas notes in the Tech Crunch article, adding, "meanwhile last year Samsung acquired Siri creators' next effort, Viv to push its own AI platform smarts; and Microsoft has opened up access to its cross-platform Cortana AI."

Lomas suggests that Huawei appears to be the only smartphone manufacturer currently looking to boost sales in the U.S. by pre-loading Amazon Alexa onto their handsets. However, similar arrangements could become attractive to other Android and smartphone manufacturers.

"For Android OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] that don't have the resources to acquire or develop their own AI voice smarts, Amazon Alexa looks to be lining up as an attractive pre-load option, especially for markets such as the US where the e-commerce giant dominates online shopping," Lomas says.

Partnering with Amazon Alexa could make what has already been anticipated to be a big U.S. debut for Huawei even bigger.

The Mate 9 received overwhelmingly positive reviews when it was launched in Europe in 2016, and Huawei has previously boasted that the phone's 2.5GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 960 processor makes it the "most powerful smartphone in the world."

— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) January 5, 2017

With the addition of the Amazon Alexa preload and the fact that the Samsung Galaxy is still reeling from the recall debacle, there is plenty of opportunity for Huawei to get a toehold in the U.S. smartphone market if it launches the Mate 9 soon, which it is expected to do any day now.

A market analyst at CES told TechCrunch that there is a "growing opportunity for voice-driven connected devices" because consumers are looking for "different ways of interacting with their devices" as well as "a better experience" overall from their devices.

It sounds like Huawei is trying to fill that void by offering Amazon Alexa with the Mate 9.

[Featured Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]

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