Technology market analyst Canalys predicts that 100 million smart speakers will be in use in people’s homes by end of 2018. By 2020, there will be more than 225 million installed units.
Additionally, Canalys predicts that Google’s Home series will account for about 30 percent of installed smart speakers at the end of 2018. Amazon’s Echo devices will account for about 50 percent, while Apple’s HomePod will only account for about four percent.
The U.S. currently leads the world in smart speaker adoption. However, smart speakers have been available in the United States for a while. According to Canalys research analyst Vincent Thielke, Amazon and Google have engaged in a price war in an attempt to build the largest install base. However, these companies are turning to other uses for speakers, as well as other untapped markets.
“Their business development teams are targeting commercial opportunities, such as hotels, offices, gyms and airports, with initiatives such as Amazon’s Alexa for Business and Alexa for Hospitality,” said Thielke.
As for untapped markets, China is the “sleeping giant” according to research analyst Hattie He. In 2017, China had only an estimated three percent of the installed base. However, Canalys predicts China will have 10 percent of the installed base by the end of 2018.
“China has massive potential, with more than 450 million households, over three times the number in the U.S.” said He.
While China will take over as the second highest installed base of smart speakers this year, Canada will drop off the list.
Canada had a small spot on the 2017 Top 5 list with about two percent of the installed smart speakers. However, Canada won’t be among the Top 5 at the end of 2018 as new players squeeze the country out.
Interestingly, Canadians seem to prefer Google Home to Amazon Echo devices. While Canalys predicts Amazon has more speaker units installed, Google Home is the leader for us. According to a survey from the Media Technology Monitor in June, 55 percent of Canadian smart speaker owners own a Google Home.
Amazon Alexa trails at 22 percent. Sonos and HomePod round out the bottom of the list with four and three percent respectively.
In 2017, the U.S. dominated with 73 percent of the installed base. That’s expected to fall to 64 percent at the end of 2018 as other markets adopt more smart speakers.
The smart speaker industry is growing rapidly around the world. It will interesting to see how this burgeoning industry will play out. Both Amazon and Google are investing heavily in smart speakers and other players are considering entering the market too.