China Will Surpass the United States in Voice Control Front End Shipments in 2020

June 24 2020, 00:25
Chinese smart home players are poised to parlay strength in smart home voice control into global influence. According to ABI Research, China will surpass the United States in voice control front end shipments by 15 million units at the end of 2020. Overall, the Asia-Pacific smart home installed base will grow from 66 million in 2020 to 316 million (a 30% CAGR) between 2020 and 2026, states the global tech market advisory firm. In the same period, the smart home installed base in the United States will grow a mere 3.6%.
Kun Jing, Vice President of Baidu and General Manager of the Smart Living Group, showcased the Xiaodu Smart Display X8 at the launch event

From fast follower to global influencer, the Asia-Pacific smart home market, and China in particular, will increasingly help determine the shape and consumer appeal of global smart home offerings. The emerging trend, already forming, will be further exacerbated by the early impact and emerging recovery from COVID-19 in the Chinese market.

"The influence of the Chinese smart home market is being  boosted by the commitment of its largest players emerging from the impacts of COVID-19 lockdown ahead of the U.S. and European competitors, and committing new resources and strategies to drive and cement smart home adoption and engagement," explains Jonathan Collins, Research Director at ABI Research.

Over the next five years, driven by the Chinese market, the Asia-Pacific region will outpace all others in smart home growth and adoption. This year, driven by investments from Alibaba, Baidu, Xiaomi and others, China alone will see shipments of voice control front ends (mainly smart speakers and smart screens) reach over 69 million units, surpassing those in the United States (55 million units) for the first time. Largely on the back of that voice control device adoption, other smart home devices categories such as smart lighting, smart locks and smart plugs will follow suit over the next five years.

"Besides its unique scale, the Chinese smart home market also concentrates influence in a handful of major players, each with a strategic commitment to their smart home businesses. This, combined with global smart home OEMs dependent upon China-based manufacturing will help ensure that device requirements and connectivity demands set by these players will increasingly be offered, with potential cost savings over existing approaches, in the global marketplace," says Collins

The smart home market has been adopted and pursed at varying speeds in markets around the world and to varying degrees of success. Many aspects of the market remain and will continue to be extremely localized in demand and provision. "What is key globally, however, is minimizing the cost and the complexity of smart home adoption. Developments geared toward the cost-consciousness demands of the Chinese market and supported by the economies of scale serving the Chinese home market delivers, will help open large segments of the region, including India, as well as the world to the solutions developed there," Collins concludes.

These findings are from ABI Research's The Emerging Influence of Asia-Pacific Smart Home application analysis report. This report is part of the company's Smart Home research service.
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