Amazon thinks some of its customers are getting bored of their Echo devices

echo 4th gen

According to a Bloomberg report, Amazon is worried that its customers are getting a bit bored with their Echo smart speakers now that the shine has worn off a bit and believes the growth phase is over as estimates show Amazon smart speakers will only grow by 1.2% annually. In some of the years since the Echo's launch, Amazon saw 15% to 25% of users stop using the device after just one week.

Apparently, Amazon faces two main barriers to smart speaker acceptance, these are concerns about privacy (who would have guessed?) and people not really finding their new smart speakers very useful. With regards to the last point, smart speakers from both Amazon and Google are in fact packed with many features but the lack of display does make it a bit hard for people to learn what their new devices are fully capable of.

An Amazon Echo

Highlighting the last point, Amazon’s documents reveal that most people only use their smart speakers to play music, set a timer, or turn the lights on and off. Apparently, most people discover the features they will ever use after just three hours of use.

While not mentioned in Bloomberg’s article, one of the main issues with smart assistants is their failure to catch what you’re saying. If you repeatedly attempt to make it do a request and it keeps getting it wrong you find it’s easier to get your phone out or look up what you were after on the computer instead.

As time goes on, it will be interesting to see whether Amazon manages to continue selling as many of these devices and whether it can figure out how to make the smart speaker product really click with users. The limited use of these devices could all be a generational thing too, perhaps younger people who grow up with these devices will be much more comfortable with them.

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