“Alexa, can you tell me something about smart speakers?” is just one of the many questions smart speakers can answer today, with people using and relying on these devices for a range of activities. Smart speakers, powered by a voice-enabled virtual intelligent assistant, are the central controlling hubs for many smart home functions and are used for entertainment, answering questions, searching the web, and many other activities. The prevalence of smart speaker devices in households globally grown steadily in line with the rising popularity of smart home technology. By 2023 the global smart speaker market was projected to count over 200 million units, a number that will keep increasing in the coming years.
Amazon and Google lead the smart speaker market
Although many consumer electronics companies have entered the smart speaker market, the two giants leading the industry are the American firms Amazon and Google, offering products such as Amazon Alexa and Echo, and Google Nest. Another company in space is Apple with its HomePod devices. Other smart speaker vendors with relevant market shares are the Chinese-based Baidu, Alibaba, and Xiaomi. In 2022, Amazon Echo was the most popular smart speaker in the United States, as well as in countries outside of the company’s home market such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, and India. Comparatively, Google devices are more prevalent in Sweden and the Netherlands.
Smart speakers are popular in the U.S. to perform various tasks
Because of their many functionalities, smart speakers have proved popular among consumers. With an installed base of around 95 million units, smart speakers in the United States are used to perform a variety of tasks. Asking general questions, getting weather, traffic, travel, and sports updates, and streaming music via built-in streaming services are just a few examples of activities on smart speakers in the country. Similar tasks are also performed by smart speaker users in the United Kingdom, where around 40 percent of people owned a smart speaker in 2022.
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Research expert covering the global consumer technology industry