Rivian_Hugh_III

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“Amazon is going through the biggest layoffs in the company's history right now, with a plan to eliminate some 10,000 jobs. One of the areas hit hardest is the Amazon Alexa voice assistant unit, which is apparently falling out of favor at the e-commerce giant. That's according to a report from Business Insider, which details "the swift downfall of the voice assistant and Amazon's larger hardware division."”

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/202...failure-on-pace-to-lose-10-billion-this-year/


What does this mean for Alexa development, future Rivian integration, and Amazon investment in the R1X/R2X platform?

 

RWerksman

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I have never quite understood what the case was forAlexa. Sure, she was used to sell Echos, but at some point the market would be saturated with them and there. I also can't imagine they were tremendously lucrative considering they were being sold for $20.

All of the voice assistance, despite the idea of them being cool, were always way to limited to be actually worthwhile.
 

Zoidz

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Wow... To be honest, I'm struggling to believe and understand how the division lost $10B due to Alexa. The article says they essentially sell the hardware at cost.

"best-selling items on Amazon, most of the devices sold at cost."

So that means they are spending $10B a year on hardware development, software and related infrastructure?

They have certainly backed themselves into a corner. There are a ton of 3rd party Alexa integrations that people use daily. I use Alexa with my Universal Devices home automation system. Is it handy? Yes. Do I need it? No.
 


SoCal Rob

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I have never quite understood what the case was forAlexa. Sure, she was used to sell Echos, but at some point the market would be saturated with them and there. I also can't imagine they were tremendously lucrative considering they were being sold for $20.

All of the voice assistance, despite the idea of them being cool, were always way to limited to be actually worthwhile.
They can be a real help for the visually impaired and the elderly. My mom is an 85-year-old retired English teacher who isn't the greatest with tech. Between an iPad and iPhone she has email, web browsing, apps for various services, and even some games to keep her mind sharp. Alexa gives her a home hub for automating lights plus an easy way to control her thermostat, microwave, and music.

Maybe Amazon needs to make Alexa and add-on service to Prime unless you use Alexa to order at least $50* of products per month per household. Training people to use Alexa to order things to avoid a monthly change seems reasonable to me. Maybe I am oversimplifying?

*or whatever
 
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Rivian_Hugh_III

Rivian_Hugh_III

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They can be a real help for the visually impaired and the elderly. My mom is an 85-year-old retired English teacher who isn't the greatest with tech. Between an iPad and iPhone she has email, web browsing, apps for various services, and even some games to keep her mind sharp. Alexa gives her a home hub for automating lights plus an easy way to control her thermostat, microwave, and music.

Maybe Amazon needs to make Alexa and add-on service to Prime unless you use Alexa to order at least $50* of products per month per household. Training people to use Alexa to order things to avoid a monthly change seems reasonable to me. Maybe I am oversimplifying?

*or whatever
To control the microwave?
 

NooterIA

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lol, just tonight I was trying to get Alexa to “give me the definition of climatic” for my daughters homework. Give a shot!! :surprised:
 

Zoidz

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Maybe Amazon needs to make Alexa and add-on service to Prime unless you use Alexa to order at least $50* of products per month per household. Training people to use Alexa to order things to avoid a monthly change seems reasonable to me. Maybe I am oversimplifying?

*or whatever
I agree that could be a solution, but in general Alexa would not work for me for placing orders. I tend to review multiple options before making a decision, and the visualization is important to me. I want to read reviews before I buy. Alexa would be waaaay to cumbersome.

Aternatively, I would pay $5 a month additional on my Prime for the Alexa convenience that I currently use - Home Automation and Prime Music.
 

RWerksman

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They can be a real help for the visually impaired and the elderly. My mom is an 85-year-old retired English teacher who isn't the greatest with tech. Between an iPad and iPhone she has email, web browsing, apps for various services, and even some games to keep her mind sharp. Alexa gives her a home hub for automating lights plus an easy way to control her thermostat, microwave, and music.

Maybe Amazon needs to make Alexa and add-on service to Prime unless you use Alexa to order at least $50* of products per month per household. Training people to use Alexa to order things to avoid a monthly change seems reasonable to me. Maybe I am oversimplifying?

*or whatever
I'm sorry - I should have said business case. I'm not sure how they ever thought it was going to be profitable.
 


COdogman

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Wow... To be honest, I'm struggling to believe and understand how the division lost $10B due to Alexa. The article says they essentially sell the hardware at cost.

"best-selling items on Amazon, most of the devices sold at cost."

So that means they are spending $10B a year on hardware development, software and related infrastructure?

They have certainly backed themselves into a corner. There are a ton of 3rd party Alexa integrations that people use daily. I use Alexa with my Universal Devices home automation system. Is it handy? Yes. Do I need it? No.
My guess is they sell the hardware cheap, push everyone to use Alexa, and collect as much data about how people use it. That is what they sell to other companies. Maybe that market wasn’t what they thought it was or… all our data is already out there.

https://www.pcmag.com/news/amazons-alexa-collects-more-of-your-data-than-any-other-smart-assistant

I have personally never used Siri or Alexa or any other voice assistant. I have to talk to annoying humans all day - I don’t want to add annoying conversations with my tech as well :giggle:
 

Donald Stanfield

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I personally couldn't care less because I refuse to have one of those data mining wiretaps in my house or car. I don't have Alexa on in my vehicle.
 

irish26

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I'm sorry - I should have said business case. I'm not sure how they ever thought it was going to be profitable.
My guess is profitability wasn’t the number 1 goal with Alexa. The more entrenched with their products, the more likely you are to use their other services. They probably weren’t intending to lose $10B, that’s a big number even for them, and the future of the economy in tech is less forgiving for loss leaders.

edit: and as someone else recently mentioned: data, data, data
 

RWerksman

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My guess is profitability wasn’t the number 1 goal with Alexa. The more entrenched with their products, the more likely you are to use their other services. They probably weren’t intending to lose $10B, that’s a big number even for them, and the future of the economy in tech is less forgiving for loss leaders.
Just think of how many pee bottles they could have issued to their drivers for $10,000,000,000.

:(
 

jjswan33

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They just don’t need Alexa to spy on you anymore because they will soon have a vacuum roaming around your house 🤔
 

 
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