With aggressive discounting strategies, a wider range of optional models and prices, and launches in more countries, bringing millions of first-time buyers, the smart speaker market took a big step in the mainstream market in Q4 2017. In 2017, shipments reached 32 million units, an increase of more than 300% year-on-year, and Google and Amazon accounted for 9 of every 10 smart speakers sold.
David Watkins, director of smart speaker services for Strategy Analytics, commented: “Amazon and Google are trying to expand the number of users of their voice assistants as quickly as possible, and this extremely focused approach makes it difficult for other vendors to have room for growth. Sonos, Harman Kardon and Sony and other brands hope that their design and audio quality characteristics can convince consumers to sell orders, while Apple hopes to use its fast-growing Apple Music user base to create momentum for its HomePod. Operators such as Orange and Telefonica will also launch smart speakers this year. Because they want to look for greater presence in consumers’ homes Smart speakers can serve as a hub or focal point for consumers to control all their electronic products and operators themselves will communicate with customers through this new method to promote new service.
David Mercer, Vice President, Digital Consumption Practice, Strategy Analytics, added: “The rapid adoption of smart speakers is driving profound changes in the way consumers access information and services. Traditional screen-based applications and web pages may not disappear soon, but technology companies already beginning to realize that if they want to remain relevant in the post-application era, then the voice interface is a key component of any service or device they provide. Media companies and content aggregators face special challenges because of voice precedence. In the world, their brand awareness may be reduced or even completely lost. Facebook has announced that it will launch its own display-based smart speakers this year, and other well-known content providers such as Spotify may also consider building their own hardware to ensure the visibility of their own services and drive user growth.”
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