Amazon says 100m Alexa devices sold - usage figures remain a mystery

Amazon reaches Alexa milestone / Amazon India

Amazon has claimed that 100m products with its smart assistant Alexa integrated have been sold, a significant milestone in the company’s efforts to get itself into homes and open up new sales and marketing channels.

Dave Limp, senior vice president of devices and services at Amazon, told the Verge that more than 100m Alexa opre-installed devices are now in the hands of the public. He stopped short of breaking down how many units of Amazon Alexa hardware was shifted but did say that the Echo Dot sold out in January.

As one of the biggest players in voice technology, the distribution of the tech is a major hurdle to leap – but it is far from the only one.

Although 28,000 products are capable of running Alexa, figures around use for search and ecommerce have been hard to come by.

Amazon stats leaked in 2018 hint that voice may not yet be as valuable a sales channel as previously expected – with consumer uptake seemingly slow. It said that only 2% Alexa device owners had made purchases using voice. Of those that did, only 10% made a second purchase. This indicates that there is still work to do.

However, at the close of 2018, the company claimed: “The number of customers interacting with Alexa daily and those who own multiple Echo devices both doubled in 2018.” It failed to substantiate these claims with figures.

Brands are jostling to get into the space and gain early adoption advantages. On Alexa, brands can release Skills, the platform’s version of apps. It says some 4,500 brands are on the platform.

Last year the assistant evolved, Amazon itself said it was no longer restricted to voice interfaces as it now appears on smart screens like the Echo Show, Fire TV Cube, Fire tablets, and devices from Lenovo and Sony.

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