Amazon subjects Alexa biz to major cost-cutting review: report

San Francisco, November 11 (IANS): As Big Tech falters in global macro conditions, Amazon is currently reviewing its Alexa virtual assistant-based business as part of a major cost-cutting exercise led by CEO Andy Jassy, ​​media reported.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon’s entire devices unit has had an operating loss of more than $5 billion in recent years.

Amazon is now considering whether it should “focus on adding new features to Alexa,” according to the report.

The cost-saving review includes the Device Unit with Alexa, a voice assistant available on a variety of Amazon devices.

“The company has more than 10,000 employees and is a significant recipient of investment capital,” according to the report.

It seems that the e-commerce giant is planning to reduce its investments in Alexa-driven products.

An Amazon spokesperson said that as part of this year’s review, “we of course take into account the current macro environment and consider opportunities for cost optimization.”

Amazon shares rose more than 4% on Thursday after the cost-cutting review report was released.

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 haven’t released a new smart speaker since 2018.

Although Amazon-branded smart speakers were up 33% in the second quarter (Q2) from a year ago, other brands like Google and Apple were down 31% and 57%, respectively, according to global market research company Omdia.

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