Today, most people think a digital assistant is best for a quick question about a favorite team's score or if you want to play a quick tune. But they're evolving rapidly and can do so much more.
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are adding features at such a rapid pace that, even as someone who receives emails about the new features, I can hardly keep up with them all. You can use them to play content on your TV, a game of trivia, or to order a pizza from a restaurant, all without getting off of your couch. Walk by either and ask it to order diapers and you'll have them on your doorstep in hours.
As consumers begin to learn the power of these virtual assistants and place the smart speakers that house them -- such as the Google Home, Amazon's various Echo products and Apple's delayed HomePod -- around their homes, they're going to become more like me. They're going to know that, while driving home, they can ask Google or Amazon to deliver a product, all while sitting in traffic.
I think this might start to push people toward products Apple doesn't offer, like Amazon Echo or Google Home. While this isn't necessarily big business yet -- at least compared to Apple's other hardware offerings -- it's going to be, and it's one we already know Apple will play in with the HomePod sometime next year.
It'll be hard to argue why someone should buy a HomePod when they can buy a similar product from Google or Amazon that can also deliver goods. It'll be even harder to argue why someone who already owns one of these products, some of which start at just $29, should buy another from Apple.