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.
In a new and interesting teardown analysis that included a cost of production comparison between the previous and the newest version of Amazon’s Echo, it appears that the company is making dramatic changes to lower the cost of their basic Echo model. Even though cost has been cut by more than half, the report says that the company still often sells it at a loss.
See more on the cheapening of the Amazon Echo[Read more…] about Teardown Analysis Shows Amazon is Cheapening Its Base Echo Model
We’re ‘…Experiencing a Seismic Shift’ Says Uber CEO
More and more evidence continues to emerge suggesting that the economy is undergoing a fundamental shift, a turn if you will, that will at least slow economic growth – and may lead to recession. Perhaps the clearest indicator of that is the turn taken by tech, which has lost a trillion dollars in value in just three days of trading on the stock market. For the last two-plus years, tech was the driving force behind a dramatic economic expansion during the pandemic. What is happening now?
See more on what is happening with Tech[Read more…] about Tech Takes a Trillion-Dollar Thumping
Company Exiting Bookstores, 4-Star Stores, and Pop-Up Stores
Yesterday Amazon announced it will close all of its non-grocery bricks and mortar locations, ending its foray into physical store locations. The company had previously entered the physical bookstore business – a business that many feel its online business destroyed – as well as pop-up stores and its 4-star shops that carried a selection of its best-selling online products. However, the company will keep its grocery stores and a department store concept.
See more on Amazon exiting bricks & mortar retail stores[Read more…] about Amazon Retreats: Will Close 68 Brick & Mortar Stores in U.S. and U.K.
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
But Did Google Ultimately Outsmart Them?
I don’t think it’s possible for me to overstate the significance of what just happened last week when, in a final decision from the U.S. International Trade Commission, the full panel affirmed a commission judge’s ruling that Google had in fact infringed on five patents held by Sonos. It is a real-life version of the bible story of David versus Goliath. Make no mistake, this David’s win may change our industry in fundamental ways.
A Tech David takes down a Tech Goliath[Read more…] about Goliath Has Fallen; Sonos Prevails Over Google in ITC Patent Action
Last Friday, Amazon founder and now former CEO Jeff Bezos woke up the richest man in the world. He has been the richest man in the world for quite some time now. Yet when he went to bed Friday evening, he was no longer. And the reason that’s so should serve as a warning to you and all of us in the tech biz in 2021.
See why you should take warning from the Jeff Bezos situation[Read more…] about Amazon Founder Bezos No Longer the World’s Richest; You Should Be Concerned
In new data from market researcher eMarketer, we learn more details on just how well e-commerce sales are doing both overall and for specific players such as Target and Amazon. It is pretty well known that as the pandemic rolled out in early Spring of 2020, Americans were thrust into quarantine and a 24/7/365 existence at home. This caused many to order their supplies from online retailers, even those consumers who had not previously ever purchased online before. Clearly, COVID was horrible for America (and the world) but good for the e-commerce business.
All online retailers did well, with companies like Walmart and Target seeing their e-commerce operations really gain some traction. But did some do better than others? Oh yeah…
See more on the current state of Amazon and e-commerce[Read more…] about How Big is Amazon in E-Commerce? Bigger Than You May Realize
Amazon Looks to Compete with Control4 & Others
Amazon.com Inc.’s secretive tech innovation development center, called Lab126, is said to be working on a more robust, step-up smart home control solution designed to be mounted into the wall, in a bid to take share in the custom integration channel. The move, first reported by Bloomberg News, is designed to take on major players such as SnapAV’s Control4 and other “professionally installed smart home control” providers.
But will it cannibalize their own Echo Show line?[Read more…] about Amazon Readies Entry into Step-Up Smart Home Control Market
This Friday, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence will testify before a Congressional committee (the House antitrust subcommittee) that is investigating the issue of competition in digital markets. Or, I should say, they are investigating whether the tech giants – Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, etc. – are engaging in anti-competitive activities in violation of the law. The Sonos CEO is likely to complain that Google is in fact anti-competitive. Spence’s appearance takes place literally just days after it has filed a major patent infringement lawsuit against Google – alleging that the tech giant stole its proprietary technology…making them a victim.