According to Business Insider, the Alexa app was the most downloaded app over Christmas, indicating that the Echo was likely one of the most popular gifts given. Google Home was #6 on the chart (and Snapchat was #3… some things I don’t understand).
Downloading the app means not only receiving the Echo but actually going through the initial pain of setting it up. It means that these endpoints of Alexa will be live. One of the things we had seen with the Ubi was that the longer the delay between receipt and setup, the less likely setup would occur at all and the product might be abandoned.
The spike in downloads of the Alexa app (and Google Home… even if it’s lower down the list) is that people are actually adopting these devices. What differentiates voice first devices that are always on from others is that even if they aren’t used often, as long as they remained plugged in, there’s a chance that the user may begin to use them down the road.