Echo is Amazon’s most popular device, study says, narrowly beating out Fire tablets and Fire TV

Amazon device sales estimates. (Futuresource Photo)

After a strong 2017, Amazon’s line of Echo smart speakers have overtaken Fire tablets as the tech giant’s most popular devices, according to a new report.

The report from Futuresource Consulting estimates that the installed base — the number of devices that have actually been set up and are in use — for the Echo totaled 28 million at the end of last year after estimated sales of 20 million units in 2017. That’s just ahead of Amazon’s line of Fire tablets at 27 million installed and Fire TV devices at 26 million.

The numbers show how quickly the Echo has taken off. Fire TV devices and Fire tablets had a head start on the Echo, but the smart speaker has rapidly become a signature element of Amazon’s business. The first generation of the Fire tablet was released in 2011, the first edition of Fire TV came out in 2014 and Echo debuted in 2015.

The report also highlights the diversity of Amazon’s device lineup. While the Echo line gets a lot of the hype, Amazon puts plenty of resources into other devices. Just last week Amazon introduced the newest iteration of Fire TV, the Fire TV Cube. And Amazon continues to put out new generations of Fire tablets while simultaneously cutting prices.

Futuresource’s report indicates that Echo still has plenty of room to grow. The report estimates that only 13 percent of Echo sales came outside the U.S., and internationally Fire tablets outsold Echo speakers by a four-to-one margin.

For much of the smart speaker’s existence it was only available in a select few countries: U.S., U.K., Germany, India, Japan and Canada. In December, Amazon announced the availability of three Echo devices, as well as Alexa, in 80 additional countries.

The emergence of Echo and Alexa has pushed Amazon to the top of the competitive smart speaker market. But Amazon is facing a stiff challenge from Google and the Google Home, and Microsoft’s Cortana is making noise among business users.

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