Watch Out Alexa, Google is Coming Home

Posted on May 19, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Amazon, Android, Google, Hardware, iOS, Mobile, Smart Home with 36 Comments

I’ve long said that I expect Google Assistant usage to surpass that of Amazon Alexa. This is how it happens.

According to a recent Strategy Analytics report, sales of Google Assistant-based smart speakers jumped by over seven-fold in the past year, more than doubling Google’s market share in this market.

Here’s the data.

In the first quarter of 2017, Amazon sold 2 million Alexa-powered smart speakers and controlled 82 percent of the market. Google sold only 300,000 Home speakers.

This past quarter, a year later, Amazon smart speaker sales doubled to 4 million units. But Google’s smart speaker sales grew by 709 percent to 2.4 million units. Amazon’s market share has fallen to 44 percent, while Google’s has skyrocketed to 27 percent.

Apple, meanwhile, is languishing, according to Strategy Analytics: It sold only 600,000 HomePods in the quarter, good for 6 percent market share. (At least those sales register; Cortana makes no appearance in this report.)

And to be clear, this data is for smart speakers only: Google Assistant already dominates Alexa and other voice assistants overall, thanks to its strength on smartphones. But the reason the smart speaker market is so important is that Amazon basically invented it along with its digital assistant. And when Alexa is surpassed by Google Assistant in that market, the war is effectively over.

Not that Alexa goes away, of course: This market can most likely support both of these assistants, much like the PC, tablet, and smartphone markets support two major platforms in each. But it will be Google, not Amazon, that comes out on top.


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