Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > News

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-11-2022, 11:48 AM   #1
issybird
o saeclum infacetum
issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
issybird's Avatar
 
Posts: 18,428
Karma: 210658966
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New England
Device: H2O, Aura One, PW5
Amazon launches cost-cutting review focusing on Alexa

An article in the WSJ yesterday says Amazon is looking to cut costs in its Alexa devices division, which has had annual losses of up to $5 billion annually in some recent years.

Quote:
As part of the monthslong cost-cutting review, Amazon’s leadership is closely evaluating its Alexa business, according to some of the people. The business has more than 10,000 employees and is a major recipient of investment capital, some of the people said. Internal documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal show that in some recent years Amazon’s devices unit, which includes Alexa, had an operating loss of more than $5 billion a year.

Amazon is currently considering whether it should focus on trying to add new capabilities to Alexa, a voice assistant available on a variety of Amazon devices. Adding capabilities would require greater investment, and many customers use Alexa for only a few functions, some of the people said.
Presumably the data they’re mining, and we all know she’s listening, doesn’t offset the costs. The R&D must be stratospherical. But how to limit the losses? I don’t see raising prices on the devices as a winning strategy; in part because the ones people already have are mostly good enough so the only incentive to upgrade is a deal and in part because it’s a one-off in terms of income for perpetual access.

Could they possibly consider making it a subscription service? Perhaps basic functionality for free but you pay for premium?
issybird is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 12:17 PM   #2
JSWolf
Resident Curmudgeon
JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
JSWolf's Avatar
 
Posts: 69,210
Karma: 116053285
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Roslindale, Massachusetts
Device: Kobo Libra 2, Kobo Aura H2O, PRS-650, PRS-T1, nook STR, PW3
If Amazon was to make Alexa a subscription service, it would tank. Unless new features were added as part of Prime.
JSWolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Advert
Old 11-11-2022, 12:33 PM   #3
DiapDealer
Grand Sorcerer
DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
DiapDealer's Avatar
 
Posts: 26,119
Karma: 181362750
Join Date: Jan 2010
Device: Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD
Are we certain it's the Alexa devices division which has had annual losses of up to $5 billion annually in some recent years?

I'm reading this a little bit differently:
Quote:
Internal documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal show that in some recent years Amazon’s devices unit, which includes Alexa, had an operating loss of more than $5 billion a year.
I'm reading that to say that Amazon devices unit in general had an operating loss of more than $5 billion a year. Wouldn't the Amazon’s devices unit include all Kindle readers, tablets, Firesticks/cubes, Echo, Ring, glasses, earbuds, etc... ?

I still don't know what the answer is, but I'm just thinking that the $5 billion loss is not being attributed directly to the Alexa unit itself, but rather the whole of the Amazon devices unit (of which Alexa is a part).

Last edited by DiapDealer; 11-11-2022 at 12:41 PM.
DiapDealer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 12:42 PM   #4
JSWolf
Resident Curmudgeon
JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
JSWolf's Avatar
 
Posts: 69,210
Karma: 116053285
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Roslindale, Massachusetts
Device: Kobo Libra 2, Kobo Aura H2O, PRS-650, PRS-T1, nook STR, PW3
Would this also include Amazon Basics?
JSWolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 01:47 PM   #5
tomsem
Grand Sorcerer
tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 5,649
Karma: 19037737
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: USA
Device: iPhone 14PM, Kindle Paperwhite SE, iPad mini 6, PocketBook Era
I think Amazon has been subsidizing Alexa unit heavily in an attempt to capture 'smart home' and 'personal assistant' market share, since the beginning. Alexa-powered devices like Echo are cheap and probably don't generate much if any profit. And Amazon has a bewildering lineup of these things. They can easily cut that lineup in half.

The value to amazon is in the user data, selling other smart devices (security, 'smart' appliances) and potential to Sell Stuff By Voice. But I don't think demand for those products is growing very robustly except with geekier folks. (Smart TVs are the exception: it's impossible to by a TV that isn't 'smart', whether you like it or not. It's definitely more convenient to search for content via voice, and in some cases, to launch playback of something, but that doesn't need to be very smart.)

I'm a geek myself but don't have much use for 'intelligent assistants' or 'smart home' devices . We went through a phase talking with Echos but the novelty wore off. I never ordered anything from Amazon with a voice command, or had any desire to put one in every room of the house.

We've replaced them with HomePods, but barely talk to them, and have exactly one smart light switch (set up as a timer; I've never asked Siri to turn it on or off).

But AI/ML is a thing worth investing in for its own sake, and has a broad range of potential applications. I don't see Amazon laying off a bunch of their engineers.
tomsem is offline   Reply With Quote
Advert
Old 11-11-2022, 01:52 PM   #6
tomsem
Grand Sorcerer
tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 5,649
Karma: 19037737
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: USA
Device: iPhone 14PM, Kindle Paperwhite SE, iPad mini 6, PocketBook Era
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Would this also include Amazon Basics?
They are reportedly cutting back on Amazon Basics products, but that's nothing to do with Alexa division. It's probably not profitable enough, and it undercuts some of their third party sellers, and invites lawsuits and bad press.
tomsem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 02:28 PM   #7
ZodWallop
Gentleman and scholar
ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
ZodWallop's Avatar
 
Posts: 9,443
Karma: 86341522
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Space City, Texas
Device: Clara HD; Nook ST w/Glowlight, (2015) Glowlight Plus, Glowlight 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Wouldn't the Amazon’s devices unit include all Kindle readers, tablets, Firesticks/cubes, Echo, Ring, glasses, earbuds, etc... ?
I would assume the Kindle readers do make money. I'm basing this guess on the Kindle having direct competition from much smaller players whose devices are similarly priced. Unlike the Fire tablets, which are known for being good deals, Kindles cost the same as everyone else and have the additional $20 to get rid of ads (or they have the ads).

Jeff didn't go into the breakdown of Kindle profits on our last phone chat. But if Amazon with all its advantages isn't making at least some profit on its Kindles, someone should be fired.
ZodWallop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 02:46 PM   #8
JSWolf
Resident Curmudgeon
JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
JSWolf's Avatar
 
Posts: 69,210
Karma: 116053285
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Roslindale, Massachusetts
Device: Kobo Libra 2, Kobo Aura H2O, PRS-650, PRS-T1, nook STR, PW3
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZodWallop View Post
I would assume the Kindle readers do make money. I'm basing this guess on the Kindle having direct competition from much smaller players whose devices are similarly priced. Unlike the Fire tablets, which are known for being good deals, Kindles cost the same as everyone else and have the additional $20 to get rid of ads (or they have the ads).

Jeff didn't go into the breakdown of Kindle profits on our last phone chat. But if Amazon with all its advantages isn't making at least some profit on its Kindles, someone should be fired.
Good idea. Fire the Kindle staff and get new staff that can make decent Kindle firmware and Kindle apps.
JSWolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 03:08 PM   #9
DiapDealer
Grand Sorcerer
DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
DiapDealer's Avatar
 
Posts: 26,119
Karma: 181362750
Join Date: Jan 2010
Device: Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZodWallop View Post
I would assume the Kindle readers do make money. I'm basing this guess on the Kindle having direct competition from much smaller players whose devices are similarly priced. Unlike the Fire tablets, which are known for being good deals, Kindles cost the same as everyone else and have the additional $20 to get rid of ads (or they have the ads).

Jeff didn't go into the breakdown of Kindle profits on our last phone chat. But if Amazon with all its advantages isn't making at least some profit on its Kindles, someone should be fired.
I'm not questioning whether one aspect/device-line is profitable or not. Nor do I care. I'm trying to determine what all falls under the "Amazon’s devices unit" (of which the Alexa division is a part) mentioned in the article quoted in the OP.
DiapDealer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 03:18 PM   #10
JSWolf
Resident Curmudgeon
JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
JSWolf's Avatar
 
Posts: 69,210
Karma: 116053285
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Roslindale, Massachusetts
Device: Kobo Libra 2, Kobo Aura H2O, PRS-650, PRS-T1, nook STR, PW3
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
I'm not questioning whether one aspect/device-line is profitable or not. Nor do I care. I'm trying to determine what all falls under the "Amazon’s devices unit" (of which the Alexa division is a part) mentioned in the article quoted in the OP.
My guess is Amazon Basics, Alexa, Kindle, Fire, Firestick, and Eero.
JSWolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 04:09 PM   #11
tomsem
Grand Sorcerer
tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.tomsem ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 5,649
Karma: 19037737
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: USA
Device: iPhone 14PM, Kindle Paperwhite SE, iPad mini 6, PocketBook Era
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
My guess is Amazon Basics, Alexa, Kindle, Fire, Firestick, and Eero.
Amazon Basics is a brand for commodity items (batteries, toilet paper, cables, bed sheets, monitor mounts, office furniture, you name it). It is not in Devices group.

Kevin Keith is VP of Amazon Devices. He's been interviewed a couple of times on The Kindle Chronicles, most recently:

http://thekindlechronicles.com/tkc-698-kevin-keith

I think Len will be interviewing him again with the next installment, Amazon invited him to visit Seattle office this week to celebrate TKC 700.

Last edited by tomsem; 11-11-2022 at 04:43 PM.
tomsem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 04:18 PM   #12
ZodWallop
Gentleman and scholar
ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
ZodWallop's Avatar
 
Posts: 9,443
Karma: 86341522
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Space City, Texas
Device: Clara HD; Nook ST w/Glowlight, (2015) Glowlight Plus, Glowlight 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
I'm not questioning whether one aspect/device-line is profitable or not. Nor do I care. I'm trying to determine what all falls under the "Amazon’s devices unit" (of which the Alexa division is a part) mentioned in the article quoted in the OP.
I wasn't at all disagreeing with your comment. I'm sure it is likely correct. It just made me start thinking about whether Kindle devices themselves were a loss leader or not. I would guess they are not.
ZodWallop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 04:20 PM   #13
ZodWallop
Gentleman and scholar
ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ZodWallop ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
ZodWallop's Avatar
 
Posts: 9,443
Karma: 86341522
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Space City, Texas
Device: Clara HD; Nook ST w/Glowlight, (2015) Glowlight Plus, Glowlight 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
My guess is Amazon Basics, Alexa, Kindle, Fire, Firestick, and Eero.
I don't think Amazon Basics is an Amazon device.
ZodWallop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 04:27 PM   #14
haertig
Wizard
haertig ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.haertig ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.haertig ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.haertig ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.haertig ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.haertig ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.haertig ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.haertig ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.haertig ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.haertig ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.haertig ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,484
Karma: 19589834
Join Date: Sep 2017
Device: PW3, Fire HD8 Gen7, Moto G7, Sansa Clip v2, Ruizu X26
After years of "No way would I put an Amazon listening device into my home!", I decided "Why not? We don't talk about anything sensitive." It's not like many people are verbally rattling off their social security numbers, bank account numbers, and passwords on a routine basis. My initial resistance came from decades of work in the computer industry, some of those in network and server security.

I added several Alexa devices (Echo Dots) around the house and put them all on a separate VLAN so any potential hackers would not be able to get to our computers on the primary LAN. It is very convenient when cooking to say "Alexa, set a steak timer for 7 minutes." Then "Alexa, set a corn timer for 5 minutes." Then "Alexa, what temperature do you bake salmon at?" And then at night, "Alexa, turn off downstairs lights." "Alexa, set an alarm for 8am." And when I run out of something in the kitchen, "Alexa, tell Our Groceries to add milk." and have that show up on my phone while I'm in the grocery store.

So I went from "Never, not in my house!" to "Seven Echo Dots? I think that's enough for now. But I have spares if one goes bad." If you wait for Amazon's frequent sales, an Echo Dot is like $10 or less.

Bottom line: There are plenty of easier and more productive ways to steal people's personal information than listening in on random Alexa devices hoping someone will suddenly vocalize their name and social security number for some unknown reason.

Smug people will say, "I'm more secure than to have that stuff in my house." But just ask them, "But do you have an internet connection into your house?" Then watch them hem and haw. Most likely, they won't even know enough about security to realize they should be hemming and hawing in the first place. If you really want security, you've got to disconnect the internet. Period. But that's a bridge too far for most people, including some that claim they are security conscious. "Well, other than that, I am secure." Right.
haertig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 08:38 PM   #15
Uncle Robin
Diligent dilettante
Uncle Robin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Uncle Robin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Uncle Robin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Uncle Robin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Uncle Robin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Uncle Robin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Uncle Robin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Uncle Robin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Uncle Robin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Uncle Robin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Uncle Robin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Uncle Robin's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,069
Karma: 40000000
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: in my mind
Device: Kobo Sage; Kobo Libra H2O
Quote:
Originally Posted by haertig View Post

Smug people will say, "I'm more secure than to have that stuff in my house." But just ask them, "But do you have an internet connection into your house?" Then watch them hem and haw. Most likely, they won't even know enough about security to realize they should be hemming and hawing in the first place. If you really want security, you've got to disconnect the internet. Period. But that's a bridge too far for most people, including some that claim they are security conscious. "Well, other than that, I am secure." Right.

To claim that having any listening device (admitted by its makers to be intended for data collection) is no less secure than having any internet connection at all, is a step (or 7) too far. I'm no Scheier, but I do know that it is possible to have a useful internet connection and maintain a tolerable level of security, with minimal handoff of personal data. If others make other choices, that's fine for them, but to claim that there is no essential difference smacks of defensiveness. It is simply not true.
Uncle Robin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Today's Amazon tech event. All Alexa, no Kindles. quatermass Amazon Kindle 12 10-12-2018 12:16 AM
Amazon Event - New Echo/Alexa Devices Announced tubemonkey News 40 09-24-2018 08:04 AM
Alexa in Amazon (Store) app tomsem Apple Devices 3 04-22-2017 03:03 PM
Kindle Dictionary: Another cost-cutting on the K4? twowheels Amazon Kindle 14 10-12-2011 12:12 PM
Free on Kindle: Green Cost Cutting koland Deals and Resources (No Self-Promotion or Affiliate Links) 0 06-27-2009 09:10 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:20 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.