This is the dawning of the Age of Alexa…at least on Black Friday (and EBRs sold well, too!)
about their recent Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales has two real stories. First, and importantly, hundreds of thousands of
Given the apparent maturity of that market, that seems remarkably high to me. Yes, they generally had big discounts (except for the Oasis, the top of the line model…and it intrigues me that we haven’t been seeing Amazon pulling out any sales trends ((Amazon rarely does actual numbers for sales)) for that model. It’s one of the very few I haven’t bought, since you can only buy it with an animal-leather cover at this point, and I don’t do that (I’ve talked about that previously in the blog). I’m happy to see the continued success of dedicated-reading devices, though. Since you can buy Fire tablets more cheaply than you can the lowest price EBR, it is more of a niche device now. Serious book readers may be willing to pay more for an EBR, while casual readers may go for the Fire tablet. I read on both, personally.
The second story is how well Alexa (Amazon’s voice assistant) did! Amazon says millions of Alexa-enabled devices were sold…just this last weekend. That means it could have been ten times as many as EBRs.
That’s now a pretty wide range of devices, from the least expensive Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote (at AmazonSmile*) (you don’t need the Voice Remote to use Alexa if you have a SmartPhone…you can use the free app), which was as low as $24.99 on Black Friday (it’s back to $39.99…but it is currently out of stock until December 12th) through Fire tablets starting normally at Fire, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) at $49.99 (they were $15 off) and the Echo family, which starts with the All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) – White (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) at $49.99. You can get “bulk discounts” on the Dot and the least expensive Fire tablet.
Those aren’t the only Alexa-powered devices, and many more are coming. I really want Alexa in my car, and there is a Kickstarter which will do that for $49:
It does a whole more than that, and it’s already doubled its funding goal. I have it on my Amazon wish list for my family, even though Amazon doesn’t carry it. They have a button you can put into your browser to add things to your list from any site
Alexa will eventually be everywhere. 🙂
Speaking of Alexa, the blogosphere has been buzzing about this
which says that Amazon may be developing a new high-end Alexa device, perhaps for release in the first quarter of 2017. It’s supposed to have much better speakers (two, perhaps)…and a 7″ touchscreen. Honestly, that seems weird to me…with Alexa already tied into the Fire tablets, is this that much of an advantage? It could be…the interface might be much more Alexa-focused, but they’ll have to convince me (if this is real) based on price and features.
By the way, I’ve got another question currently: why buy the original
for $179 rather than a Dot for $49.99 and a Bluetooth or cabled speaker? I use our Dot with this speaker:
which is water-resistant (so I have it in the bathroom), pairs super easily (I just turn it on…it will even pick up mid-song), is working for me from maybe four meters away (call it a bit less than fifteen feet)…and currently costs $23.99 (down from $49.99). Plenty of choices for speakers.
Now, no question: a Dot by itself is pretty unobtrusive, but I really do want a decent speaker for music. The Dot itself is okay for speech, but the sound reminds me of an old pocket transistor radio…quite scratchy.
I think for most people the Dot/other speaker combination is probably better, although the integrated Echo is simpler (no pairing).
I have more stories (thanks to those of you who have been sending my heads ups), but this is probably long enough for tonight. 😉
What do you think? Are you using a Dot with or without a speaker…and how does it compare for you to an Echo if you have one? Do you think EBRs will continue to sell? Will they appeal to people who only read a few books a year? What would make you want to buy an Alexa-powered device with a 7″ screen…if it cost, say, $250? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.