Since introducing the first modern smart speaker a couple years ago with the Echo product line, Amazon has maintained a steady dominance in the market. The company sold an estimated 4.8 million Echo devices between April and June, beating Google by 1.6 million units.
However, Google has been gaining ground on its closest rival, growing its market share from 16.1 percent in Q2 2017 to 27.6 percent in the same quarter one year later. Apple's recently introduced HomePod speaker isn't even a true competitor to the two companies, only shipping an estimated 700,000 units between April and the end of June.
Amazon is credited with shipping 41 percent of the 11.7 million smart speakers sold in Q1 2018, with Google coming in at 27.6 percent and Apple with 5.9 percent. Though it's not a big jump in terms of market share, it should still cause the e-commerce giant to worry just a bit — though Google's share jumped only 11.5 percent, it saw sales growth of 483 percent
The smart speaker market is seeing massive growth throughout the world with 187 percent more being sold in Q2 2018 than the same quarter of 2017, especially in China with both Alibaba and Xiaomi seeing booming growth in product sales of their Tmall Genie and Xiaomi Mini AI speakers, respectively.
In a new report, it was discovered that smart devices like the Echo and Home speakers will be installed in more than 55 percent of US households by 2022, with over 70 million houses having at least one smart speaker, accounting for 175 million in total. But despite the rapid adoption of physical smart speakers, there's a lot of usage that still does and will continue to happen on our smartphones with Android, iOS and many other major operating systems shipping with their own version of one.
What is less clear, though, is how these companies will capitalize on their existing user bases while pushing to take over the market. Beyond the price of the hardware, no money is required beyond that for language processing and other services, which just means companies will need to build strategies that revolve around providing both valuable information and promoting products or services to consumers.