Amazon's Echo is pushing its digital butler Alexa out to the world, threatening Apple's Siri in the smart home race.
Apple may be the reigning gadget champ, but it's facing a fierce battle with e-commerce giant Amazon whose got a surprise winner on its hands - the Echo. One analyst estimating 10 million of them were sold in the latest holiday season alone - And NOW many smart home appliance makers are rushing to hook up with echo's digital butler Alexa That's raising questions about where Siri is in this race to turn on our lights, lock the doors, and keep the house warm. But Reuters Stephen Nellis says Amazon has its own challenges. SOUNDBITE: STEPHEN NELLIS, REPORTER, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "So the big risk with Alexa and controlling devices around the home like a thermostat is the integration's not that tight. You gotta buy the device, you gotta download the app, the gotta set it up and then go into the Alexa app and then set it up there and then you can tell Alexa to turn the heat up." Still, Alexa stole the CES show earlier this month. At the world's biggest tech gadget show she showed up in LG's refrigerator, Ford's car, and in China's major smartphone maker Huawei's latest phone. She can control over 250 home gadgets today. For Alexa, smart home companies just need to write code and submit that to Amazon for review. Getting in bed with the iPhone … not so easy. That's why Apple has less than half the number of things that work with its Homekit system. Gadget makers have to jump through many more hoops with Apple from including special chips that work with Apple's system to sending the products to Cupertino, where Apple tests them extensively for compatibility. But that means, they'll work out of the box. One thing Apple does have going for it... a billion iOS users. If you haven't noticed while you updated your iPhone to iOS 10 ... look now. There's already an Apple Home app on your phone.