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100 million smart speakers by the end of 2018, Amazon Alexa on more than 50 percent devices: Canalys

According to a detailed report by research firm Canalys, the industry is likely to grow up to 225 million devices by the end of 2020.

  • Published: July 10, 2018 2:32 PM IST
Amazon Alexa 805

Image credit: Amazon


The smart speaker industry is likely to continue with its growth for the next few years. The industry is likely to scale the 100 million units mark by the end of the year, a rise of 2.5 times than what it was in 2017. To keep things in perspective, the total number of devices was less than 40 million at the end of 2017. According to a detailed report by research firm Canalys, the industry is likely to grow up to 225 million devices by the end of 2020. This indicated that the interest in home assistants running on smart speakers will continue to scale at a comfortable pace.

Talking about digital virtual assistants, Amazon Alexa is expected to run on more than 50 percent of the 100 million smart speakers by the end of the year. Its competition including the Google Assistant-powered Google Home will account for 30 percent of the market and Siri-powered Apple HomePod will account for just 4 percent of the market by the end of the year. The primary factor behind this is likely to be “the power of an ecosystem lock-in” while engaging “in a fierce price war to try and build the largest installed base.”

Watch: Amazon Echo Spot First Look

Amazon is expected to offer more discounts on its Amazon Echo lineup of smart speakers with the upcoming Amazon Prime Day sale event. Moving to the countries, the United States is the world leader in smart speaker adoption with an expected market share of 64 percent. This marks a shrink from the 73 percent market share that the company held at the end of 2017 as other counties are catching up.

The report also pointed out that China will be in the second spot with 10 percent of the Smart Speaker units at the end of the year. This is a jump from the 3 percent market share that the country held at the end of last year, marking the country as one of the fastest adopters of Smart Speakers. The UK will be in the third spot with 8 percent from the 10 percent last year and Germany will be on the fourth sport with 6 percent, a decrease from 8 percent last year. South Korea will replace Canada on the fifth spot with 3 percent.

The report pointed out that the Chinese market holds “massive potential” for the industry as it has ”more than 450 million households” which is “over three times the number in the US.” It also pointed out that local players such as Alibaba and Xiaomi are investing heavily in the space. Google and Amazon need to attract the attention of developers as they continue to take the smart speakers beyond smart homes to target commercial spaces “such as hotels, offices, gyms, and airports.”

  • Published Date: July 10, 2018 2:32 PM IST