Mobile & Wearable

eMarketer: Amazon dominates smart speaker market, Apple not a threat

Amazon is dominating the smart speaker market in the US, according to eMarketer.

Their report suggests that almost 70% of US smart speaker users will have an Amazon Echo product in their homes in 2020, slightly down from the 72.9% who owned an Echo in 2019.

By 2021, Amazon will see another small drop in usage, with it claiming 68.2% of the market.

According to eMarketer, Google will make more headway against Amazon this year, but firms like Apple with its HomePod and Sonos with its One speaker are unlikely to be threats.

They add that 31.7% of smart speaker owners will use a Google Home or Google Nest device this year, and by next year, Google’s stake will increase slightly to 32% of the market.

“Since Amazon first introduced the Echo, it has built a convincing lead in the U.S. and continues to beat back challenges from top competitors,” Victoria Petrock, a principal analyst at eMarketer, said in response to their data.

“We had previously expected Google and Apple to make more inroads in this market, but Amazon has remained aggressive. By offering affordable devices and building out the number of Alexa skills, the company has maintained Echo’s appeal,” she added.

Though the number of smart speaker owners will rise in the next several years, ownership will grow at a slower pace; existing adopters are more likely to buy an additional speaker than new users buy their first.

Apple has struggled to make much of an impact with its HomePod device, despite being on the market for two years.

First, the speaker was overpriced at $349, which was dropped to $299 in 2019 amid pressure to increase sales.

But when you consider that you can pick up an Echo Dot for as little as $24 during sales periods, $299 is an investment few would make.

Though Apple focused on quality when it launched its HomePod, most consumers prefer low-cost smart speakers like the Echo Dot and Google Nest Mini, offering great functionality without an expensive price tag.

Apple could release a low-cost HomePod in 2020, but it’s not expected that the firm will offer a sub-$50 version of its speaker, meaning domination in the speaker market is unlikely.

Do you have a smart speaker at home? Let us know your thoughts and check back soon for  more news and rumors on HomePod and technology, every week, here at AppleMagazine.

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