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Thinking About Amazon’s Smart Home Ecosystem (Premium)

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Every September, Amazon announces a tsunami of new smart home products. But this year was a little different, at least from my perspective. And in addition to the terrific new product updates were some even more meaningful rewards for those who have embraced Amazon’s smart home ecosystem.

I assume it’s obvious to most why ecosystems matter, and that Amazon is today not just a leader in the smart home, but the single most important player. That’s impressive when you consider that its chief competitors---Apple and Google, and, to a lesser degree, Samsung---aren’t what anyone would call lightweights. But Amazon continues to out-innovate them all and, more impressively, outpace them in broadening its ecosystem. (I’ve previously expressed my surprise and frustration with Google’s performance in this regard, given its core strengths in AI and how central this market is to its business model. But facts are facts.)

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