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.
<blockquote><a href="#277425"><em>In reply to PincasX:</em></a></blockquote><p>So true. Nothing but guesses. Repeating data from the same sources that said the iPhone X was a failure.</p><p><br></p><p>I want to be an analysts and get paid to be right 30% or less of the time.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p>
<p>As with the growth of Chromebooks, the growth in Google Home devices is at least partially a function of how few devices are already out there. It's when competing products have similar installed bases that comparisons in growth are truly significant. </p>
<blockquote><a href="#277450"><em>In reply to obarthelemy:</em></a></blockquote><p>Great point. All of them are in it for different reasons. Google is to collect data and IMHO the worst reason. I do not trust Google anymore than I would Facebook. When AD sales make up 80+% (probably north of 90%) of your revenue and profit I want nothing to do with you. At least Amazon and Apple have actual products.</p><p><br></p><p>Also all of these so called "digital" assistants are just DUMB. Nothing but gimmicks right now. They need another 5-10 years before they can be talked to like you talk to another person. That and mountains of data, your data.</p>
<p>"Apple, meanwhile, is languishing, according to Strategy Analytics: It sold only 600,000 HomePods in the quarter, good for 6 percent market share."</p><p><br></p><p>Considering that 1) HomePod missed the Xmas shopping season, 2) launched in only 3 countries, 3) Did not include the AirPlay 2 / Stereo-pairing feature at launch, 4) has a starting price of $349, 600,000 units sold in the first quarter is pretty darn good.</p>
<p>This is not surprising and it shouldn't be. As a matter of fact, when Google Home was first released it was often compared to Amazon Echo. I feel sorry for all those people who were led to believe that the Google Home was headed towards insignificance by those of the tech blogosphere simply because Amazon had such a huge lead that. Those people either hated Google or not very smart. </p><p><br></p><p>However, I don't feel sorry for all those who bought that $200 Harmon Kardon Invoke, which is not $99, due to extremely low or non-existent demand. For one thing, the Invoke was UGLY. Second, it had Cortana in it. Who really uses Cortana other than Satya Nadella? I think NO ONE. Cortana obviously has a strong presence on desktop, but who really uses it? It's SLOW! How about mobile? People say that Microsoft doesn't a present in mobile. That is soooooooooooooooo NOT TRUE. Windows Phone is just an Operating System. Cortana is just software that can be installed on Android and iOS. Therefore, Cortana and Microsoft have a very strong presence in mobile and not uses it. </p><p><br></p><p>Look at the bright side, it makes a good baseball cap holder.</p><p><br></p><p>Back to Google Home….</p><p><br></p><p>I am starting to transition from having a household that is half Alexa and have Assistant to full Assistant. It just makes sense to me. With my Nest Thermostat, Nest Hello, All my smart light bulbs and plus, as well as the one room that has Android TV, …. I am just better off with the Assistant. After evaluating Roku, Amazon Firestick, and the Android TV (Nvida Shield), the Android TV is the best . With Google Home, I can make that thing turn on/off, change channels, show me the front door via Nest Hello, etc….</p><p><br></p><p>The Google Home is just really,….REALLY that good.</p>
<p>Google Home as a "smart assistant" is great, there is no doubt about that, but Google must do something about the sound quality of their speakers in order to get me to buy one. The quality of the sound that they put out is just horrific when compared to Apple's HomePod, there is just no way around that fact. The same thing can be said about any version of the Amazon Echo and their tinny, muffled audio with no high frequency or bass at all. Maybe people don't care about the sound quality of their smart assistant speakers, and that's fine if they don't, but there should be versions for people who do that aren't gigantic behemoth things that take over a shelf or cabinet. The HomePod's version of Siri is quite limited but it does work very well for Apple Music and basic queries, and the sound quality of music is just worlds better than either Google Home or Amazon Echo. </p>