Amazon has revealed recently that approximately 100 million devices with Alexa built in have been sold. The number came from the senior vice president of devices and services of the company, Dave Limp in an interview with The Verge. When asked about the number of Echo dots sold this season, Mr. Limp refused to give an exact number instead remarked that it has already outran its expectations for this season and Echo dots are sold out already.
100 million number seems extravagant at first look, but comparatively with other platforms in market it lags far behind impressive. In May 2017, Google reported that its android platform is run on 2 billion mobile devices. Apple’s iPhone and Android already has captured more than 99% of smartphone market. If compared to Siri and Google assistant run devices, Amazon’s number lags but Dave believes that as these assistants are preinstalled on the phones, customers are not making active choices. While in case of Amazon’s Alexa customers are actively choosing the devices.
There are 150 Alexa built in devices on the market along with 28,000+ smart home devices which work on Alexa platform made by 4500 Manufacturers. The sheer number of devices adopting Amazon’s Alexa is big pat on the back of Alexa. The platform is also diversifying its 70,000+ skills base by localizing content and getting more voice developers on board.
Although technology analysts have long drawn comparisons between Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant, The Company rejects the idea of a full-on platform war. Out of the 150 products running on Alexa, 100 are shipped in 2018 and Amazon doesn’t even make it. The company hasn’t signed any exclusivity agreements with its partner, and believes in the strategy of allowing its partners to work with diverse assistants. He’s open for diverse assistants working with each other and cited the partnership with Microsoft to make Cortana and Alexa work with each other. According to Dave, in future we’ll see multiple players in the Assistant field, and in order to ensure ease of access and inter-platform operability for the user, a collaborative effort to integrate all assistants is necessary.
Amazons goal is to create an ambient user interface. A smartphone is not ambient as the user has to actively use it. Without direct interaction the phone just sits there in the pocket. This is the game Alexa wants to change by allowing smart interfaces to interact with user without active participation. Amazon doesn’t feel comfortable to label Alexa as an assistant. The company sees no point luring android users already using Google assistant to use Alexa, it’s difficult. Neither is there any possibility that Apple, in its right senses, will allow Alexa to be preinstalled in its iPhone. Amazon wants to expand Alexa’s reach to where smartphone cant, the home, the car and the workplace.