Report: Smart Speaker Installed Base to Top 200 Million This Year

Posted on April 16, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Smart Home with 3 Comments

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.

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Comments (3)

3 responses to “Report: Smart Speaker Installed Base to Top 200 Million This Year”

  1. ponsaelius

    So we may have the beginnings of voice being the next mobile. In other words the breakthrough of a niche technology into the mainstream where people just buy a smart speaker at retail.

    It seems to me that as people have migrated to subscription music services the smart speaker is the ideal interface to use them in the home. Normal people are quite happy just commanding a device to play a playlist or an artist. My wife quite likes just asking for something from Spotify and is pretty comfortable with Alexa. I recently put in a smart plug to switch on and off the lamp in our front room. It is lazy and somewhat unnecessary but I quite like it.

    I linked Alexa to my calendar, I can switch on my xbox with voice and listen to podcasts. I even use the BBC catchup service on it if I miss a radio programme.

    Both Amazon and Google seem to have bet on the correct "next big thing".

  2. cheetahdriver

    I will second this, but also say while I was quite grateful to Alexa and my LiFX lights while I was laid up recovering from knee surgery, I was not willing to set up anything else with Alexa, and turned off my Amazon ordering through it. There are going to be an extremely limited subset of my activities that I will be willing to pass over to this, until they can show that it is secure. So far, they have been quite good at the opposite.