Alexa tops App Store charts for the first time, revealing strength of Echo sales during the holidays
Loyal PhoneArena readers know that all throughout 2017, we told you to expect smart speakers to enjoy very strong sales during the holiday shopping season. And this seems to be the case as the iOS version of Amazon's Alexa app is topping the U.S. App Store charts for the first time. Before the Christmas holidays, the Alexa app ranked in a range between number 60 and number 90. The sudden surge to the top surely indicates that quite a few people found an Echo smart speaker under the tree or in a Chanukah themed box toward the tail end of this month. Just yesterday, Amazon said that the Echo Dot was its top selling product during the holiday season. The Dot, recently on sale for $29.99, is the low-end smart speaker offered by Amazon.
The Google Home app also rose strongly, from 38th place on Christmas Eve, to number six in the U.S. App Store on Christmas Day. On Google Play, the Google Home App rose from 21 to number two during the same period.
As we've also pointed out several times, 2017 was a strong year for Alexa, which is Amazon's virtual personal assistant. "She" can be found on Amazon's Echo smart speakers, on certain Motorola and Huawei handsets, and the Alexa app is used to control settings and other features.
Amazon created the category with the widespread launch of the Echo in 2015. The success of the device led other manufacturers to produce smart speakers of their own. Typically, a smart speaker combines a speaker with a virtual personal assistant. For example, Google has three models (Home, Home Mini and Home Max) that feature Google Assistant. The Microsoft Invoke features Cortana, and the Apple HomePod will come with Siri. The latter was originally set to launch this month, but has been delayed until early next year. Samsung has been making noise about producing a Bixby powered smart speaker for sometime next year.
With a smart speaker, users can set timers and alarms, hear the latest news, weather, stock prices and sports scores, control smart appliances, stream music, order an Uber or Lyft, get a pizza delivered, and much more.