An Amazon media release yesterday confirmed what Voicebot readers already knew. There were a lot of Alexa supported Echo devices sold by Amazon in 2016, particularly during the holiday season. Voicebot’s prediction yesterday that Amazon will likely pass 4 million Echo units sold in 2016 and 7 million since launch looks increasingly like a reality.
The release also stated, “Echo Dot is the best-selling, most gifted item on Amazon.com,” and “Sales of Amazon Echo family of devices up more than 9x over last holiday season.” The first statement is not a surprise based on the value per price point and the sell-out of Echo units in mid-December reported by Voicebot. However, the second statement is intriguing.
9x Higher = Millions of Echo Dots Sold
Voicebot reported in yesterday’s post that Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) estimated that 1 million Amazon Echo devices were sold in Q4 2015. At least half of Q4 is typically considered the holiday season. CIRP estimates are based on survey data and no one outside of Amazon has reported actual sales numbers. Could this mean that Amazon sold 9 million Echo and Echo Dots this year? It’s possible but not probable. The obvious conclusion is that millions were sold, not just in 2016, but just in the fourth quarter.
It could be that CIRP data was incorrect in 2015 and that it overstated sales by 50%. That would mean something like 500,000 were sold last year and maybe 250,000 were sold in the holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. 9x of 250,000 is 2.25 million. That is a number that was reachable given the opportunity for at least 500,000 sold in Germany and the UK and the balance in the U.S. The Echo Dot price point under $50 and then below $40 could well have driven U.S. sales up faster than expected.
What does this tell us? A lot of people have purchased and presumably are using Amazon Alexa as a voice assistant in the home. Whether the total count is 5, 7 or 9 million devices, it is a proven market with solid consumer traction. The other question: where is the announcement about Google Home sales?