Amazon's Echo has become a major success for the company. For the uninitiated, the Echo can best be thought of as a voice-automated personal assistant — think Apple's Siri but in hands-free speaker form. There are currently three variations of the Echo: the original Echo ($179.99), the recently released Echo Tap ($129.99), and the Echo Dot ($89.99). 

By The Numbers

BI Intelligence is bullish on the Echo and has been since our first report on the device in January 2015.

We estimate the Echo has an installed base of 1.6 million — this is the number of people who have bought the Echo. 

However, this is much lower than Consumer Intelligence Research Partners' (CIRP) estimates, which find that approximately 3 million Echos have been sold, with 1 million sold in the first quarter of 2016.

The Alexa app, which is used to set up, access, and control the Echo is critical to our forecast:

  • The Alexa app has been downloaded 1.9 million times — with 1.4 million iOS downloads and 500,000 Android downloads, according to Priori data(NOTE: Priori measures app downloads from the iTunes and Google Play app stores based on the app's ranking, category, and private information from partner apps to determine a daily estimate of downloads. Its stated downloads closely align with other app analytic companies, including Apptopia.) 
  • However, we estimate 1.15 app downloads for every Echo installed because in some households, there will be multiple smartphone users of a single Echo. Further, consumers can uninstall and redownload the app, so there can be double counting of an Echo for an app download. In addition, our 1.15 estimate accounts for when there is more than one Echo per household and instances when users set up their Echo using a compatible web browser, which we believe is a small user base.

While our estimate is significantly lower than CIRP's estimate, we have said since the Echo's debut that we believe Amazon has successfully launched a new device category with the Echo and we expect it to be a major new product category. Recent news suggests that this is proving true.

<img src="https://media-bii.businessinsider.com/images/5755bb8376c7d11a10b27923-1136-840.png" border="0" alt="Estimated Echo Installed Base " srcset="https://media-bii.businessinsider.com/images/5755bb8376c7d11a10b27923-160-118.jpg 160w, https://media-bii.businessinsider.com/images/5755bb8376c7d11a10b27923-320-237.jpg 320w, https://media-bii.businessinsider.com/images/5755bb8376c7d11a10b27923-480-355.jpg 480w, https://media-bii.businessinsider.com/images/5755bb8376c7d11a10b27923-640-473.jpg 640w, https://media-bii.businessinsider.com/images/5755bb8376c7d11a10b27923-750-554.jpg 750w, https://media-bii.businessinsider.com/images/5755bb8376c7d11a10b27923-960-710.jpg [...]