Yesterday, Amazon reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings: $29.1 billion in sales and $513 million in earnings. In the earnings press release, CEO Jeff Bezos called out Amazon device sales as a particularly successful area for the company:
Amazon devices are the top selling products on Amazon, and customers purchased more than twice as many Fire tablets than first quarter last year,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “Earlier this week, the $39 Fire TV Stick became the first product ever — from any manufacturer — to pass 100,000 customer reviews, including over 62,000 5 star reviews, also more than any other product ever sold on Amazon. Echo too is off to an incredible start, and we can’t yet manage to keep it in stock despite all efforts. We’re building premium products at non-premium prices, and we’re thrilled so many customers are responding to our approach.
Amazon has never announced unit sales, beyond vague statements such as “Echo … is off to an incredible start, and we can’t yet manage to keep it in stock despite all efforts.” However, a report from Slice Intelligence indicates that the Echo device family is now outselling Kindles. (Reportedly, Echo is also the best-selling wireless speaker on Amazon, too.)
According to the report, “the Echo family accounts for 26 percent of Amazon device unit sales and 41 percent of dollar sales, beating the Kindle by seven points.” Among the three Echo devices (original, Dot and Tap), the original Echo is responsible for 89 percent of all Alexa-powered device sales. However, more recently, the newer and cheaper Dot has outsold the original Echo.
The Slice report also elaborates on the demographics of Echo-device buyers:
- 70 percent male
- Ages: between 36 and 66
- Income: generally affluent — 35 percent have annual household income above $100,000
Beyond a vague time correlation in this report, there’s no public data to support my hunch that Amazon Echo/Alexa are playing a significant role in helping grow the user base for voice search/voice assistants. While Google, Apple and Microsoft are equally promoting their digital assistants, Amazon is contributing to an accelerated mainstreaming the technology.