- Amazon said on Thursday that the Echo Dot was the top-selling item on Amazon last year.
- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos lauded the progress of Alexa, saying the smart assistant was kept busy over the holiday.
- Amazon has been racing Apple and Google for dominance in the smart assistant market.
Alexa was fielding a wild number of requests over the holiday season, and little wonder – Amazon sold more Echo Dots than any other product in 2018.
“Alexa was very busy during her holiday season,” CEO Jeff Bezos said in Amazon’s fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday. He said Amazon’s top-selling item globally was the Echo Dot, its Alexa-enabled smart speaker.
So many Echo’s were stuffed under Christmas trees that Alexa actually suffered outages in Europe as people rushed to set up the virtual assistant.
The newest, third generation iteration of the smart speaker came out in September. In November, Amazon revealed that the Echo had been a top mover in its Black Friday sale, which may have contributed to its overall success in 2018.
Amazon did not provide concrete figures on how many Echo Dots were sold, but Bezos said people bought “millions more devices from the Echo family compared to last year.”
He was eager to emphasise all the work that had been put into Alexa, the AI-assistant which resides in the Echo. He said Amazon has doubled the number of scientists working to improve Alexa, and vaunted advances in machine learning which have made Alexa smarter.
Along with Apple and Google, Amazon has been racing to dominate the smart assistant market. A report released by research group CIRP in August showed that when it comes to smart speakers, Amazon is on top with a market share of 70%.
According to its earnings report, Amazon also doubled the number of devices with built-in Alexa in 2018, including headphones, PCs, cars, and smart home devices like the Echo.
However, as of May 2018 Amazon is not the dominant player in the smart assistant market as a whole. Alexa commanded only 13.2% of the US voice assistant market, compared to Google Assistant’s 28.7% and Siri’s 45.6%. Notably, the other two assistants come integrated on consumer’s iPhones and Android phones.
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