More than 75 million people use Alexa, but Amazon thinks it’s not making enough money. So, they have a plan: launch a new and improved Alexa called “Alexa Plus” that you have to pay for. This new Alexa, also known as “Remarkable Alexa,” is set to debut on June 30. But here’s the catch—it’s not working very well.
Some people inside Amazon don’t believe customers will be willing to pay for it. Right now, Amazon is testing “Remarkable Alexa” with 15,000 customers, and the feedback is not great. It seems to chat well but struggles with doing useful stuff. It gives long and often wrong answers. For example, it can’t handle requests like playing a song and turning off the lights together.
To make things more complicated, the team that built the original Alexa is not ready to let it go. They are making Amazon keep parts of the old technology, which is making the new Remarkable Alexa clunky and hard to run.
But the real issue might be that Amazon is already asking customers to pay for many things—like Prime, streaming services, Audible, and more. Now, they want to add another fee for using a smart speaker. Many people at Amazon doubt customers will be okay with that. So, the launch of Alexa Plus might not go as smoothly as Amazon hopes.