A new survey estimates that Amazon has sold more than 10 million Alexa-powered Echo devices since late 2014, and that number is rising fast.
The report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimates that close to half of the 10.7 million Alexa devices sold since launch came between November 2016 and March of this year. CIRP previously reported the lifetime sales figure of Echo devices at 8.2 million in January and 5.1 million in November 2016.
“The installed base of Amazon Echo devices in U.S. homes continues to grow,” Mike Levin, partner and co-founder of CIRP, said in a statement. “In a slower retail quarter, Amazon grew the U.S. Echo count by almost 25 percent. Even more impressive, the installed base more than tripled in the past year, from about 3 million units as of March 31, 2016.”
Amazon doesn’t publicly disclose official numbers for Echo or other devices, leaving third-party estimates as the best gauge of sales.
The typically $179 Echo is the flagship product of the family, which also includes the less expensive and smaller Echo Dot and the portable Amazon Tap. The $49.99 Echo Dot in particular has played a big role in Amazon’s speaker success, accounting for 52 percent of all installed Echo devices in the U.S., according to the report
“The Echo Dot definitely helped drive Echo sales since the release of the second generation model in October 2016,” said Josh Lowitz, partner and co-founder at CIRP. “Amazon priced it aggressively, offered big discounts during the holiday season, and offered promotions for purchasing multiple units to encourage gifting and multi-room home use.”
Amazon has pulled into an early lead in the competitive voice assistant market thanks in part to the success of these speakers. More and more households are becoming aware of the devices thanks to moves like Amazon’s traditional media advertising and prominent placement on the company’s e-commerce site. CIRP, which polled 500 U.S.-based Amazon customers for its report, found awareness of the devices now sits at 86 percent, up from 61 percent a year ago, and 20 percent two years ago.
Alexa has gotten a lot smarter over the years, and she has now piled up more than 12,000 skills. Alexa’s proliferation can be partially attributed to Amazon’s decision to open the digital brain up to developers and device manufacturers in 2015. Alexa Voice Service lets manufacturers integrate Alexa into their products. The Alexa Skills Kit encourages third-party developers to build skills for Alexa. Developers who want to add to Alexa’s abilities can write code that works with Alexa in the cloud, letting the smart assistant do the heavy lifting of understanding and deciphering spoken commands.
Amazon is planning to release more Alexa-powered devices. Last month, Amazon unveiled the fashion-oriented Echo Look, a new $200 “hands-free camera and style assistant” powered by Alexa. Last week, multiple images of a touchscreen Echo device leaked online, and reports indicate such a device could be introduced this month.