This has to rank up there with one of the most spectacular product failures in tech history. According to leaked documents acquired by Insider, Amazon’s “Worldwide Digital” unit – the unit that includes Echo smart speakers, Alexa voice technology, and Prime Video streaming – lost over $3 billion in just the first quarter of this year. It is on pace to lose $10 billion for the year and the company has announced its largest layoffs ever – cutting more than 10,000 jobs…many targeted to hit this division specifically…as Amazon reorients their business strategy.
End of the Smart Speaker Era?
Amazon is widely credited with having created the entire smart speaker category with their Alexa voice-controlled Echo smart speaker and other products. The company has sold millions of them since their introduction in 2015, especially at often insane sale prices during the holiday selling season. But Bloomberg Businessweek has come into possession of leaked internal Amazon documents that paint a portrait of a category that appears to be in serious trouble, principally because it fails – often miserably – to retain consumer interest.
And, the documents show, not only do consumers lose their interest…they lose it quickly.
See more on smart speaker problems identified in Amazon internal docs[Read more…] about Leaked Internal Amazon Docs Show Users Quickly Tire of Smart Speakers
Two new research reports from two different research groups came to basically the same conclusion – smart speakers (and IoT devices) show no signs of slowing down with eye-popping growth rates in just the last two years. One of the researchers, Comscore, is calling the trend, “The Smart Speaker Frenzy.”
See the latest smart speaker & IoT data…[Read more…] about Growth of Smart Speakers & IoT a ‘Frenzy,’ Says New Reports
As many integrators seek to pitch their clients on the many wonders of converting their dumb homes into “smart” homes, there are growing indicators that the promise of the smart home is not being reliably delivered up to this point…and may never be, according to one respected industry expert. And there is a growing chorus of others who appear to agree – possibly including Google, who is trying to manage expectations by relabelling the smart home as the “helpful home.”
See the case for the fall of the smart home…[Read more…] about ‘The Smart Home is Dead,’ Says a Key Industry Expert
Amazon has announced that the end-of-life for its Dash button is rapidly approaching. If you’ve been dying to try it, better move quick – Amazon will completely disable the system just three short weeks from now on August 31st.
What went wrong with Dash? Read on…[Read more…] about Amazon to Kill the Dash Button
The latest data from market research firm Strategy Analytics shows that Amazon is still the king of the smart speaker market – selling more smart speakers than anyone else. But the data also showed something else rather surprising – Google has substantially closed the gap between it and Amazon, coming within about 5.5% of Amazon’s market share numbers in the all-important fourth quarter selling season.
See how the smart speaker horse race is getting so much closer…[Read more…] about Google Closes in on Amazon in Smart Speaker Market Share
You will find more infographics at Statista
A new report by The Information has roiled Amazon, punching a hole in the concept that users of their Alexa-powered smart speaker devices will use them to buy billions of dollars of goods through voice ordering. According to sources from inside Amazon, the company is disappointed that only about 2% of users of their devices use them for voice-enabled shopping – a result that throws shade at the company and industry analysts who predicted a tsunami of voice-powered purchases. The company’s spokesperson disputes the report.
See what we’ve learned about Amazon’s voice shopping experience… [Read more…] about Amazon Horror: Alexa Users Not Using Voice to Shop
Former Head of Amazon’s Smart Home Org. to be
SVP of Products & Services for Control4
Control4 Corp. announced today that it has appointed Charlie Kindel, an ex-Amazon executive in charge of their Alexa project, to fulfill the role of Control4 Senior Vice President of Products & Services. Kindel is replacing Eric Anderson, who announced his retirement recently after holding the same role since 2012.
See more on Kindel joining Control4…
Can Amazon Scoop the Industry a Second Time?
Amazon has a super secret project that just might change the world…again. I have long said that the brilliance of Amazon’s Alexa-based Echo and Dot devices comes from their realization that voice control belonged in the home. While Apple (Siri) and Google (OK Google) digital voice assistants in the past were viewed predominantly as a hands-free voice assist for when you’re driving – Amazon took a different route…right into the American living room. Brilliant, and now Google and Apple are playing “catch up.”
Now we learn that there’s a new project in Amazon’s secretive Lab126 that could once again change our world.