Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant In Neck and Neck Fight For Smart Speaker Leadership

May 15 2019, 00:10
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% share of sales in 2018, but this will decline to 31.7% in 2019, while Google Assistant’s share will rise from 30.3% to 31.4%, the company predicts. Global sales of all smart speakers are expected to reach 135 million units in 2019, a growth rate of 57%. The remaining sales will be shared between more than a dozen other voice OS platforms, including Apple’s HomePod (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, the company's strong position in machine learning and artificial intelligence, and the wide availability of Android services which integrate with Google Assistant, combined with a more extensive international footprint.

“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,” comments David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics.

“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,” David Mercer adds.

The research assesses both first- and third-party smart speakers, i.e. Google’s and Amazon’s own-brand devices as well as other brand devices which use the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa platforms. The full report from Strategy Analytics’ Smart Speakers and Screens (SSS) service, Smart Speaker Shipment and Installed Base Forecast by Voice OS by Region, can be found here.
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