San Francisco, Nov 11 (IANS) As Big Tech reels under the global macroeconomic conditions, Amazon is now reviewing its Alexa virtual assistant-driven business as part of a major cost-cutting exercise headed by CEO Andy Jassy, the media reported.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon’s entire devices unit has had an operating loss exceeding $5 billion in some recent years.
Amazon is now looking into whether it should “focus on trying to add new capabilities to Alexa,” according to the report.
The cost-cutting review includes the devices unit with Alexa, a voice assistant available on a variety of Amazon devices.
“The business has more than 10,000 employees and is a major recipient of investment capital,” according to the report.
It appears that the e-commerce giant is considering reducing its investments in Alexa-driven products.
An Amazon spokesperson was quoted as saying that as part of this year’s review, “we’re of course taking into account the current macro-environment and considering opportunities to optimise costs.”
Amazon’s shares went up by over 4 per cent on Thursday after the report about the cost-cutting review came out.
Once part of our private lives as virtual assistants, more than 35 smart speaker models have now been discontinued (as of April 2022), 46 brands haven’t released a new smart speaker since 2019 and 34 companies haven’t released a new smart speaker since 2018.
Although Amazon-branded smart speakers grew 33 per cent during the second quarter (Q2) compared to last year, other brands like Google and Apple were down 31 per cent and 57 per cent, respectively, according to global market research firm Omdia.