Amazon says Echo Dot best-seller amid millions more devices sold at Xmas

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Besides, "Amazon recently announced a record-breaking holiday season as tens of millions of people have signed up for its Prime membership either by making paid service or on a trial basis", IANS reported.

According to the press release Amazon put out, some of the more popular Amazon devices sold on the website this year include the Echo Dot, the Fire Stick 4K with Alexa remote, and the Amazon Echo. Each mobile and desktop platform has its own first-party app store, and there are also third-party app stores like Amazon's. 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. Along with the Christmas sales report, as the picture seems to be much brighter than the Amazon initially projected in its latest earnings results.

Shipments of Blink- and Ring-branded first-party smart home devices did not quite hit the expectations, but they, in addition to the smart home machines sector widely, were more as compared to previous year, Amazon claimed. To deal with the rush of deliveries, the company invested in automation and new facilities to add sorting capacity of 350,000 packages an hour to its USA system.

The couriers are bracing for a second wave of business as people begin returning gifts in January.

Sears at Towne East one of 80 stores closing nationwide
The only public offer comes from the hedge fund controlled by Sears chairman Eddie Lampert, though it's not yet an official bid. The iconic but now bankrupt retailer announced Friday it was closing 80 more Sears and Kmart stores.

Millions of items in the USA were shipped with Prime free same-day shipping, Prime free one-day shipping and Prime Now free two-hour delivery.

One Twitter user posted a pic of a hand-written list of Christmas dinner tasks, adding: "I've switched to contingency mode for reminders!" Amazon shares were up 1.9 percent to $1,369.12 at 10:57 New York Wednesday.

Top sellers included Amazon devices like the new Echo Dot, LOL Surprise! dolls, and Bose noise-reduction headphones. Year-to-date, AMZN has gained 21.03%, versus a -9.20% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

Amazon's claimed that Alexa, it virtual assistant device suffered service outages in Europe on December 25, likely due to a flood of new users using the Alexa app. (Amazon did not immediately respond to an email about the reported outage.) While Amazon is notorious for keeping hard numbers under lock and key, it did say the number one Alexa request this year was "Alexa, turn on the Christmas tree".