Amazon doesn’t disclose Echo gross sales numbers, however a key exterior metric means that the corporate’s sensible audio system are having an incredible 2017 vacation season. On Christmas Day, Amazon’s Alexa app took the #1 spots on each the U.S. Google Play and iPhone App Stores’ free app charts, reflecting loads of recent Android and iOS consumer demand for the software program used to arrange Echo audio system. The #1 rankings positioned Alexa forward of perennially well-liked apps akin to Facebook Messenger, YouTube, and Spotify, no simple feat for an app dependent upon a buy.

In addition to its #1 place on the iPhone facet of the U.S. App Store, the Alexa app is presently ranked #3 on the iPad facet. Notably, the Google Home app — which is used alongside Google’s Home collection of sensible audio system — presently ranks #2 within the U.S. Google Play app retailer and #6 within the iPhone app retailer, with a #1 rating within the Canadian Google Play retailer. Both apps jumped from their vacation 2016 positions. According to App Annie charts from one yr in the past, the Alexa app ranked #7 and #6 within the U.S. Google Play and iOS App Stores, respectively, whereas the Google Home app ranked #37 and #46.

While the sturdy rankings will seemingly fall after vacation gadget activations have concluded, and a few of the Echo and Home units will little doubt be returned, the numbers mirror a rising curiosity in AI-assisted audio system. Last yr, Amazon famous that vacation Echo gross sales have been up over 9 instances the earlier yr’s vacation interval, and the Alexa app reportedly hit #5 on the iOS App Store. Demand has been fueled partly by aggressive Amazon pricing, and in addition by the mid-2015 rollout of Skills — optionally available third-party additions to Alexa’s vocabulary and capabilities — that allow Echo units to develop over time in performance.

Apple could have stoked its customers’ curiosity within the class with its June announcement of HomePod, a $350 speaker designed to compete towards Echo with Siri and superior acoustics. The firm notably delayed HomePod on the final minute, pushing again its promised December launch to an unspecified date in early 2018, forcing Apple followers to both wait or buy a competing product. Google now presents a direct rival to the HomePod in its $400 Google Home Max, in addition to a lot cheaper Google Home Mini and Google Home audio system, every able to doubling as a related dwelling hub.

The Echo lineup is finest identified for audio system, however has not too long ago expanded to incorporate units with screens, enabling video viewing, video calling, and textual content shows of stories, climate circumstances, and different data. In June, Amazon launched the Echo Show, which mixed a 7-inch touchscreen with audio system, microphones, and a digicam, adopted by the December launch of Echo Spot, a smaller globe-shaped model with a 2.5-inch display. In the absence of particular gross sales figures for particular person fashions, it would stay unclear as to what fraction of whole Echo gross sales come from screened units, however Amazon’s heavy promotion of screenless fashions means that sensible audio system proceed to dominate its gross sales.

This article sources data from VentureBeat