Amazon’s smart products dominate the market even as business confidence lags
Amazon goesnew Ring and Alexa products that will undoubtedly bring new levels of comfort to users’ homes. What is perhaps more remarkable than the products, however, is Amazon’s resiliency in device sales given its struggling reputation among business and tech watchdogs.
The company’s security cameras, manufactured under the Ring brand, have raised a host of privacy and security concerns. To address the issues, Amazon has incorporated features that protect users’ home cameras from hackers, encrypt data passing through Amazon’s servers so the company cannot access it, and add transparency on how which it partners with the police services.
Alexa-powered smart speakers have also raised privacy concerns. Always ready to listen, the speakers asked questions about who is monitoring voice recordings and how much of the recordings of your conversations with Alexa are being purged from Amazon’s systems after deleting them. More recently, the company raised security concerns with its Sidewalk Wi-Fi sharing feature, which is turned on by default. More broadly, the devices have prompted privacy experts to warn that they could violate children’s privacy laws and that parents should think carefully before introducing new levels of surveillance in children’s homes.
None of these concerns, however, seem to affect the popularity of Amazon’s Ring and Echo lines, as well as its Halo fitness trackers and Fire TV streamers. The e-merchant does not divide product sales into its income, but it occupies dominant positions in certain categories of smart home products. The Echo line essentially created smart speakers and held over 28% of the global market in 2020, followed by devices from Google and 70% of the US market in 2019. Ring security cameras lead the market, followed by Arlo products. Amazon’s Fire TV is the most popular media streaming stick, with over 12% of the market competitive.
Part of the appeal is the price. Amazon offers practical and functional products without Apple’s premium fees. Like Apple’s products, Amazon’s products – whether made in-house or by manufacturing partners – integrate seamlessly with each other. They are also benefiting from the huge and loyal Prime subscription customer base, which, along with other subscription services, brought Amazon nearly $ 8 billion in revenue in the second quarter of 2021.
The combination is hard to beat, whether you’re another tech company or a privacy advocate warning consumers to be careful.
âIt’s easy to sell new things to people when they’re already buying regularly and when you have their email information and shipping history,â said Michael Pachter, analyst at WedBush.
Amazon’s devices aren’t his only cause of controversy. The company has also come under close scrutiny from labor rights advocates and antitrust regulators for its dominance of the U.S. e-commerce and cloud sectors and for its treatment of frontline workers, who fulfill commands from the Amazon website. Company employees alleged racial and gender discrimination in the workplace, in addition to staging a strike over Amazon’s impact on the environment.
The public is in conflict over the company, opinion polls show. Amazon is liked by 68% of people surveyed in the United States, according to YouGov, and hated by 15%. But more than half of Americans polled by the Pew Research Center recently said big tech companies should face more regulation, and 68% of those polled said tech titans have too much “power and influence. ‘influence in today’s economy’. A 2019 poll by CNBC found that a majority of U.S. respondents said Amazon was bad for small businesses.
A lack of love for Amazon might not trump portfolio decisions, especially when it comes to smart home products or its market. Despite Amazon’s self-proclaimed “obsession” with the customer experience and feel-good vibes evoked by the company’s smiley logo, people are responding to price and convenience, said Brendan Witcher, analyst at Forrester .
Convenience and ease of use at the background level are some of the reasons why Amazon especially owns the smart speaker market. âIt’s like a member of the family,â Witcher said.