AppBrain data show that the Alexa app passed 10 million downloads in the Google Play store on December 26th. There are a couple of points of significance here. First, Android phones now have Google Assistant embedded. That means all Android users presumably have easy access to Google Assistant, many likely use it, and they still wound up buying an Alexa-based device or receiving one as a gift. This data undermines the theory that most consumers would prefer to use one voice assistant throughout the day. Android users that might seem more likely to adopt Google Home are instead installing an Echo or other Alexa-enabled device.
Alexa App Download Pace is Accelerating
The second interesting point is that the pace of Alexa apps downloads on Google Play is accelerating. Alexa came to market two years ahead of Google Home in the U.S. and six months earlier in the UK and Germany. That early mover advantage could be assumed to account for much of the download activity. Not so. The Alexa app was just past one million installs at the time when Google Home was announced. Since that time, it has added about nine million new installs.
It took the Alexa app 172 days to reach 100k downloads, another 262 days to get to 500k, then just 178 days to hit one million. From there, it was 287 more days to reach five million and 223 days to reach 10 million. Since there are different numerators from hundreds of thousands to millions for each interval, it is better to look at downloads per day between milestones. The Alexa app was getting about 2,800 downloads per day when moving from 500k to one million. That grew to over 13,900 per day between one and five million and then to 22,400 per day between May and December 2017 to reach 10 million.
Alexa App Tops Download Charts
The Alexa app has also topped several download charts on Google Play recently. In the U.S. the Alexa app is No. 1 in the Music & Audio category and No. 5 overall. It is No. 4 overall in the UK and No. 1, 2 and 3 in the Music & Audio category in the UK, Germany and Canada respectively. So, Alexa’s popularity with Android users is not limited to the U.S. Keep in mind that consumers in all three of those countries can also purchase Google Home.
Google Home and Assistant Do Very Well in Play Store
All of this Alexa momentum didn’t totally shut out Google Assistant or Google Home. AppBrain also reports that Google Assistant in Google Play climbed from launch to one million downloads in just 56 days this fall. Most Android users get Google Assistant pre-installed so there is no need to download the app. That means the number of Google Assistant users is hundreds of millions overall.
Google Home comes in at over 50 million downloads which would seem to put it way ahead of Echo devices. However, all Chromecast devices also require the Google Home app for configuration. CNET reported in October 2017 that 55 million Chromecast devices had been sold so many of these Google Home app downloads are likely for that product.
It is not surprising that Google Home is doing well with Android users. It is a very good product and fits well into the Android ecosystem. The bigger news is the momentum and resilience of the Alexa app and Echo product line among Android users. The fact that Echo Dot was the top selling product on Amazon.com over the holidays and topped the iOS App Store charts on December 26th suggests it is doing well with Apple users as well.