“Alexa, turn off the lights”, “Alexa, lock the front door“, “Alexa, turn down the music”.
Despite the familiarity to many, these aren’t the wailings of stressed out parents, willing their child to do as they are told. Smart speakers are fast becoming the must have gadget for every household.
Aside from what we generally expect from a speaker – music and the news, when we can bear it – Alexa can also control lights, heating, plug sockets, televisions and CCTV, with more tricks and tips being added to its capabilities every week.
Initially launched back in 2015, Alexa also resulted in a meteoric rise of Amazon’s share price. At the end of May 2019, shareholders had benefitted from a near 500% increase. Its most recent results also didn’t disappoint. The first quarter of 2019 saw a surge in revenue to £59.7bn, up from £51bn at the same point a year earlier.
But after such a dramatic few years, coupled with some dramatic returns, investors may well be thinking that this boat has well and truly sailed – so take note.
The latest results, while positive, did reveal a slight slowdown in growth for the company although not enough to send analysts running for the hills. They remain positive on the long-term prospects for Amazon and, given its track record, it is clear to see why.
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Amazon has been ahead of the game on many fronts. Smart speakers are one of the most recent, as is Fire TV which is now used in more than 30 million homes. Its Prime service, that draws together the video and music subscription, now offers free one-day delivery to members and, with Alexa on hand to encourage consumers to buy things they didn’t even think they needed, it is a win-win for Amazon.
Alongside Alexa, which alone is expected to be a $19bn business within the next two years, there is a case to be made for a holding in this tech heavyweight.
Transforming where you live into a smart home, with Alexa at the reins, has a costly initial outlay so demands a certain level of commitment. If you haven’t already, is it time put some of your spare cash to work and invest in the firm behind the gadget?
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