smart speakers

The latest analysis of the smart-speakers market comes from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), which reckons that the US install base of these devices is now 50m units.

The company’s survey of 500 owners also suggests that Amazon’s Echo family still has 70% of the market in terms of devices in homes, ahead of Google Home’s 24% and Apple HomePod’s 6%.

“Amazon has a two-year head start, and Amazon and Google each have a low-priced device that accounts for at least half of unit sales, so it’s not clear how much further Apple can establish itself in the market without a more competitive model,” suggested CIRP co-founder Josh Lowitz.

The research also suggests that 34% of Echo owners and 31% of Google Home owners have bought more than one device.

“Each brand wants to establish a position in a household, with units in every room,” said co-founder Mike Levin. “This seems to work, as about one-third of owners have multiple units, and almost 10% of Echo users have three or more. The strategy of a very low-priced smart speaker encourages users to try one, and then add more as they get comfortable with the concept.”

CIRP’s figures compare to other recent studies: NPR and Edison Research claimed in July that 43 million Americans own a smart speaker (note, that’s owners, not installed units as in CIRP’s analysis). Meanwhile Canalys also said in July that by the end of 2018 there’ll be 100m smart speakers in use worldwide, with 64% (so 64m) of them in the US.

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