Quartz

Exclusive: Amazon says 100 million Alexa devices have been sold

Amazon isn’t letting Google own CES without a fight.

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D.A. Wallach
Recording Artist & Investor

While the other big players detoured into AR and VR, Amazon quietly owned this next significant compute platform. So impressive.

Zach Seward
Chief product officer / executive editor at Quartz

Wow, Amazon released a real number, as opposed to its typically vague proclamations like they sold “enough commercial butane torches to caramelize 31,000 creme brûlées” (actual quote). That said, this 100 million figure, while impressive, doesn’t really speak to Alexa’s reach. It would be more relevant to know the number of *active* devices with Alexa built in, which I suspect is much lower, and of course how many of those actually make requests to Alexa, which is lower still. But it’s still better than creme brûlée.

Rajesh Bilimoria
Innovation Advisor and Adjunct Professor at NYU - Stern School of Business

This discussion from the Verge nicely explores some of the platform dynamics and strategies related to Amazon’s Alexa and other smart assistants, as we’ll as including a (somewhat vague) number of devices deployed. Despite the Amazon executive downplaying the idea that Alexa is a platform (I think it is), there are some interesting and nontraditional tactics (e.g., openness and interoperability with competitors) that we don’t always see when companies are investing in and building platforms.

On a slightly more skeptical note, I don’t fully buy Amazon’s complete distinction between ambient (e.g., Alexa) and personal devices/services like Siri. Nonetheless, an interesting piece to reflect upon as one thinks about future possibilities.

Mike Steib
CEO at XO Group

The AI assistant war is being won by the company that doesn't make phones.

* >100M Alexa devices
* >150 products with Alexa built in
* >28,000 smart home devices that work with Alexa made by more than 4,500 different manufacturers
* >70,000 Alexa skills

Quentin Fottrell
Personal finance editor and advice columnist at MarketWatch

This is a travesty for the privacy of the individual.