Apple and Google are still struggling near Amazon’s huge share in the home market for smart speakers, and that trend will continue until 2021, predicts a new eMarketer report. About 70 percent of smart US speaker users will use an Amazon Echo by 2020, nearly 72.9 percent from last year. By next year, that number may fall slightly to around 68.2 percent, according to the report. So Amazon’s lead is slowly declining, but still has a dominant position.
In contrast, eMarketer says that only 31.7 percent of smart speaker owners will use a Google device in 2020, and Apple’s home speakers were merged into the mixed “other” category, which is expected to crack barely 18 percent this year.
“We had previously expected Google and Apple to gain more access to this market, but Amazon has remained aggressive,” said Victoria Petrock, chief analyst at eMarketer.
Amazon has consistently released features that make its Echo and other Alexa devices more intuitive, eMarketer says. By opening Alexa devices to external developers and making them compatible with third-party smart home devices, Amazon has also improved the position of smart speakers. However, those things are not unique to Amazon, because smart speakers from both Google and Apple are also compatible with many smart home gadgets.
One area where eMarketer says that Echo devices fail to compete is language support. Amazon products do not support as many non-English languages as their competitors, the report finds.
The use of smart speakers in the US will slow down in the coming years, eMarketer’s report says, but the number of users will continue to grow as Alexa, Siri and other voice assistants move beyond the home and to cars and smart homes. devices. The report estimates that around 83.1 million people will use a smart speaker this year, an increase of 13.7 percent over last year.
“Over time, we will see the growth in the number of smart speakers slow down as people turn to voice assistants built into other things in homes, vehicles, and on the road,” says Petrock. “Amazon’s next challenge will be to maintain its dominance in these other environments too.”