Amazon also reported that "tens of millions" of people either started free trials or begun paid memberships this holiday season for its subscription service, Amazon Prime, in an effort to take advantage of free shipping. The Seattle behemoth did not break out exact numbers, but disclosed that exports of Alexa-supported devices such as the Fire TV Stick 4K, Echo Dot, Echo, and Alexa Voice Remote were up a noteworthy numbers as compared to previous years.
Clothes were also popular whether from one of Amazons brands (Amazon Essentials, Goodthreads, etc.) or brandslike Carhartt, Calvin Klein, Champion or UGG. Alexa was used to set 100 million timers this holiday season and the last package delivered via Amazon Prime occurred at 11:30 pm in Berkeley, CA on Christmas Eve. Overall, more than 1 billion items were shipped for free using Amazon Prime. Many feel these new subscribers contributed to Amazon's ability to dominate last-minute online shopping, but that is no different than any other year.
Alexa set more than one hundred million timers during the 2018 holiday season and delivered 8 times as many reminders over a year ago.
The number of voice-activated orders made via Alexa over the holidays increased threefold compared with past year. The company said that the problem was present for nearly two hours.
"We're so far pleased with the operational aspect of it", said Glenn Zaccara, a spokesman for UPS.
Millions of items in the US were shipped with Prime free same-day shipping, Prime free one-day shipping and Prime Now free two-hour delivery.
While the app was a phony one, it wasn't involved in anything malicious such as extraction of important details from the users.
Amazon's stock was up about 2 percent Wednesday.
Amazon did not say what caused the mass breakdown but Amazon's servers were likely overburdened due to the number of users trying to register their new devices they received as Christmas gift. Year-to-date, AMZN has gained 21.03%, versus a -9.20% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period. It looks like the virtual assistant wanted an off day this Christmas. Hence, users are advised to be aware and also alert others if they are setting up a new Alexa device.