Amazon Echo Device Sales Break New Records, Alexa Tops Free App Downloads for iOS and Android, and Alexa Down in Europe on Christmas Morning
- Amazon Echo Dot was the top selling product on Amazon.com for the third straight year
- The Alexa app again tops the free app charts in the iOS App Store and Google Play
- Alexa had intermittent outages in Europe on Christmas morning
The Amazon Alexa franchise had another eventful holiday season with the Echo Dot and Echo smart speakers once again among the top selling device. This is the third straight year that the Echo Dot was the top-selling holiday item on Amazon as it also achieved this status in 2017 and 2016. Amazon reported this morning that:
The best-selling Amazon Devices this holiday included all-new Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick 4K with all-new Alexa Voice Remote, and Echo
Voicebot had reported earlier in December that Amazon’s smart speaker product line was showing shortages in many countries. In addition, this was the first holiday season Echo products were available for sale in several countries including Australia, France, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, and Spain with language localization so the volumes were bound to be up over 2017. Regardless, Alexa enabled devices and the voice assistant service have quickly become the fourth pillar of Amazon’s market strategy as CEO Jeff Bezos alluded to in a 2016 interview.
Complementing Echo and Echo Dot smart speaker sales are the Fire TV Stick which ships with an Alexa-enabled remote control. Amazon also revealed a few holiday statistics related to increased Alexa usage including:
- Customers used Alexa to listen to hundreds of millions more hours of music this holiday season compared to last holiday season.
- Customers asked Alexa to turn on their holiday lights tens of millions of times this holiday season, with the number one request being “Alexa, turn on the Christmas tree.”
- Alexa delivered 8x as many reminders this holiday season compared to last.
- Alexa set more than one hundred million timers this holiday season.
- Customers requested nearly 3x as many recipes this holiday season compared to last and asked Alexa for cooking-related advice twice as much.
- Alexa helped mix hundreds of thousands of cocktails this holiday season – with eggnog and Moscow Mule being the most requested drinks.
- Customers used Alexa nearly twice as much on Fire TV devices this holiday season compared to the same time period last year.
Alexa Tops Free Downloads List in iOS App Store and Google Play
For the second straight year, Alexa also topped the iOS App Store list of top free apps on Christmas Day. It beat out popular apps from YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Fitbit, Netflix, and Spotify. In case you are wondering, the Google Home app is ranked number 7 in this morning’s chart so overall smart speakers had a big holiday. The ranking differential was narrower in the Google Play store where Alexa also held the top spot in the U.S. and the Google Home app ranked fourth.
Mobile app downloads are often used as a proxy for understanding total sales volume of new products as the app is required for setup of smart speakers. Google Home may trail Alexa app downloads in the U.S., but the product line still has had a strong year with an RBC analyst recently estimating about 35 million of the devices will be sold worldwide in 2018.
Alexa Down in Europe on Christmas Morning
Another indicator that Alexa was selling well was the reporting by The Guardian that Alexa was experiencing intermittent outages in Europe on Christmas morning. This may not have been an ideal user experience for new devices owners, many of which heard, “Sorry, I’m having trouble understanding you right now.” However, the issues appeared to only last for about two hours as The Guardian said they started about 10:00 am GMT and were resolved around lunchtime.