Smart speakers continue their reach into non-English markets


new study on smart speakers from research firm IHS Markit doesn’t add many surprises: 65% of respondents use these devices for listening to music, asking questions and checking the weather, versus just 6% for controlling other devices in the home, for example.

Meanwhile, 40% of respondents own an Amazon smart speaker; 23% a Google Home; and 20% at least one of each – suggesting that early adopters aren’t wedded to a single manufacturer just yet.

What’s also interesting is watching the devices from the key western tech firms make their way into non-Anglo markets. Witness several stories yesterday about the three main players in the west: Amazon, Google and Apple. Amazon has confirmed plans to launch its Alexa voice assistant (and thus also the Echo devices) in Spain and Italy later this year, with efforts underway to get developers making Spanish and Italian-language skills. Spanish language could also open up a number of markets in Latin America to Echo and Alexa, of course.

Google, meanwhile, has just launched its Google Home speakers in Spain and Austria, as well as Ireland, while Apple has just launched its HomePod in Canada, France and Germany. The latter includes French and German language support, with Canadian French to follow later in the year according to 9 to 5 Mac.

Stuart Dredge

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