There’s an interesting stat in the latest article by tech site The Information, although we have rather given it away in the headline. “Amazon has sold about 50 million Alexa devices,” it claims, based on information from “two people briefed on the company’s internal figures”.
While this isn’t a hard-and-fast figure for sales of the company’s Echo smart speakers – other devices like Fire TV sticks and tablets also have Alexa built in – it’s the closest we’ve got yet to an official figure for Echo sales. CEO Jeff Bezos wrote in a letter to shareholders earlier this year that Amazon sold “tens of millions” of Echo devices in 2017.
The thrust of The Information’s piece isn’t on Echo sales however: it’s on the very-early nature of people using them to buy stuff. It claims that only 2% of Alexa-powered device owners have used them to make a purchase with their voice in 2018 so far, and of those who did buy something, 90% didn’t try it again. “Clearly, voice shopping is not yet in the stage of being a mass market product,” said one of the article’s sources.