For the sake of comparison, Google’s most recent number for devices compatible with Google Assistant is 10,000.
If this dichotomy sounds so impressive that it’s almost unbelievable, we’re right there with you. By the company’s own admission, Amazon Alexa supported device numbers were 12,000 a year ago and then 20,000 in September. In other words, Amazon is saying it took about five months to add 8,000 devices and then about eight months to add 40,000. It’s certainly not impossible, but also seems outlandish.
A likely explanation is that the company is including the hundreds of Chinese-made smart plugs that pop-up on Amazon.com, which all look suspiciously alike. In many cases, these white label products are just a leased (or sometimes stolen) design from another company with a new logo.
It’s possible that Amazon didn’t include these products in its totals and now does, which would be a decent explanation for the huge jump.
It’s also possible that many pre-existing devices that didn’t support Alexa now do. This combined with the previous theory could feasibly explain the new numbers.
We’ve reached out to Amazon for clarification and will update this if and when we hear back. One thing, however, is clear: Amazon definitely didn’t release 40,000 different Echo smart speakers.
For the record, Google hasn’t updated its own 10,000 number since October. If Amazon is seeing such a huge jump between now and September, Google should see a large jump, too, as most devices that support Amazon Alexa also support Assistant.
It’s possible Google could highlight these new numbers during Google I/O this week. Stay tuned.