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Report: Amazon and Google level in smart speaker market

May 9, 2019

The Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant platforms will take an almost equal share of the global smart speaker market this year, according to the latest forecast from Strategy Analytics. Amazon Alexa had a 37.7 per cent share of sales in 2018, but this will decline to 31.7 per cent in 2019, while Google Assistant’s share will rise from 30.3 per cent to 31.4 per cent.

Global sales of all smart speakers are expected to reach 135 million units this year, a growth rate of 57 per cent. The remaining sales will be shared between more than a dozen other voice OS platforms, including Apple’s Siri, Alibaba’s Ali Genie, Baidu’s Duer OS, and Xiaomi’s Xiao AI.

The report predicts that global sales of Google Assistant smart speakers will overtake Amazon Alexa devices for the first time in 2020. It concludes that Google Assistant has a number of advantages which will secure its leadership position in the coming years, including:

  • Google’s established global leadership in search
  • Google’s strong position in machine learning and artificial intelligence
  • Wide availability of Android services which integrate with Google Assistant
  • A more extensive international footprint

David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics, commented: “Amazon pioneered the smart speaker business nearly five years ago and its Alexa platform has held the lead until now. But rival platforms have steadily eaten into Alexa’s share and the voice platform market is likely to remain fragmented for the foreseeable future. Google Assistant will lead in many western markets, while a number of Chinese platforms will continue to vie for dominance in China’s domestic market.”

David Mercer, VP and Principal Analyst, added: “At the moment there is little sign of smart speakers replicating the dual-platform structure of the smartphone business. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant will each build strong global bases of more than a hundred million smart speaker users, but plenty of room remains for rivals such as Apple and the Chinese internet players.”

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