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Amazon records another huge quarter thanks to Alexa and the cloud

Alexa, bring in more profits please.
Nicole Lee, @nicole
07.26.18
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Amazon's been under quite a bit of stress recently, as it deals with fallout from its facial recognition tech, ongoing privacy concerns with its Echo hardware and its Prime Day not going as well as intended. But with so many businesses under its umbrella, Amazon still raked in plenty of dough to keep the company going. According to its second quarterly report for 2018, Amazon's net sales increased by 39 percent to $52.9 billion compared to this time last year, which translates to an overall net income of $2.5 billion in just the past few months.

This includes sales from advertising, its own hardware products, the Prime Video service, plus sales from Whole Foods stores across the nation. Amazon doesn't typically break out sales by category, but it does seem like the company has been pushing hard on the Alexa side of things in the past few months. CEO Jeff Bezos' statement, reflects this:

"We want customers to be able to use Alexa wherever they are," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. "There are now tens of thousands of developers across more than 150 countries building new devices using the Alexa Voice Service, and the number of Alexa-enabled devices has more than tripled in the past year. Our partners are creating a wide variety of new Alexa-enabled devices and experiences, including soundbars from Polk and Sonos; headphones from Jabra; smart home devices from ecobee and First Alert; Windows 10 PCs from Acer, HP, and Lenovo; and cars from automakers including BMW, Ford, and Toyota."

The latter point is especially interesting, as it shows the company is not just relying on its own Echo hardware to spread the word of Alexa. By integrating Amazon's personal assistant into a wide range of products, the company is betting on the ubiquity of Alexa to sustain its already-strong ecosystem, which will hopefully stave off any competition from the likes of Google.

In the lengthy Highlights section in the latest earnings report, the company called out several announcements in the past few months, such as the Fire TV Cube streaming set top box and the next generation of Fire TV smart televisions that will be available on Best Buy as well as Amazon. Also notable is that despite the aforementioned Prime Day glitch, the company says it recorded the most single-day sign-ups for its Prime service than on any other day in Amazon history. This is even despite the higher $119 annual price for Prime. That said, the second quarterly earnings report does not include any Prime Day sales figures.

As always, Amazon's Web Services is a big contributor to the company's bottom line as well. This past quarter, the company added more enterprise AWS customers to its list. They include Ryanair, Epic Games, zulily, 21st Century Fox, and Major League Baseball.

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