Huawei installs Amazon Alexa on flagship smartphone for US market

Huawei Mate 9
STEP FORWARD: The Huawei Mate 9 has the Alexa app pre-installed following US launch

Chinese mobile phone giant Huawei is to pre-load Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant on its flagship Mate 9 smartphone, which has now launched in the US, as Amazon bids for a leading role in the emerging voice-activated services market.

Alexa will be pre-installed in an app on Mate 9 handsets for US customers, while existing Mate 9 owners can get the app via an over-the-air update.

“Customers can ask Alexa to set an alarm, or build to-do lists, get the weather, traffic reports, and more. In addition, Alexa can also control a broad array of smart home devices,” Huawei says.

“Huawei and Amazon will collaborate to develop rich voice-activated consumer experiences for mobile users.”

“With Mate 9, we set out to improve every element of the smartphone experience, creating a dynamic and powerful device that takes a big step forward in what consumers expect in a smartphone,” says Zhendong Zhu from Huawei in the US.

Alexa wave

The launch comes after a wave of Amazon Alexa integrations unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show 2017 in Las Vegas.

Among the announcements were US car giant Ford unveiling an Alexa-powered in-car assistant that would “allow Ford owners to play and resume audiobooks, order items on Amazon, search for and transfer local destinations to the in-car navigation system, and more. From home, Ford vehicle owners will be able to remote start, lock or unlock doors, and get vehicle information using voice commands.”

Other companies to reveal products with Alexa installed were domestic appliance manufacturers LG and Whirlpool, while Amazon announced its Prime members can now voice-order their next meal through Amazon Restaurants on Alexa-enabled devices.

Last month, luxury hotel and casino Wynn Las Vegas said it will install Amazon’s Echo in all its 4,748 rooms by summer 2017.

Earlier last year, Capital One bank customers were given the option to check their balances, pay bills and track their spending by talking to Alexa.

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