The market researchers at Canalys claim that the smart speaker installed base will top 200 million globally by the end of 2019.
“Canalys forecasts the worldwide smart speaker installed base will grow 82.4 percent from 114.0 million units in 2018 to 207.9 million in 2019,” the firm announced today.
And while Canalys believes that the United States will retain its lead in terms of smart speaker adoption through 2019, sales in China and other eastern Asia markets are surging, and they will experience 166 percent growth this year, compared to just 46 percent for the U.S.
In a way that’s not all that surprising. But because Google and Amazon—the top two smart assistant and smart speaker makers—have no presence in China, that growth is coming from rivals that are unknown in the West, like Tmall Genie, Xiao Ai, DuerOS, and others.
“The growing installed base of smart speakers is an opportunity to create new business models and to drive profit beyond music and audio content streaming services,” Canalys senior analyst Jason Low says. “Smart assistants are becoming a conduit to offer services, such as assisted living, healthcare, and government services. Smart speakers and smart displays are relatively new device categories for service entities, and platform vendors have a responsibility to ensure that partners and developers know how to use them and their smart assistants to get the most value out of every interaction with end users.”
Canalys also believes that smart speakers will overtake tablets by usage by 2021.