Digital Disruption Report

Smart Speakers - Thematic Research

Smart speakers have value beyond simply device sales

Amazon was the pioneer in this market and is still a dominant force, although its first-mover advantage has been eroded over the last year or so. Its closest challenger is Google, but neither company is present in the fastest-growing geographic market, China. Alibaba is the leading player there, with Xiaomi also performing well.

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  • What you need to know...
  • Apple was late to the party and its HomePod device has underperformed, hampered by a high price point.
  • Samsung has also left itself a lot of ground to make up and the prospects for its Galaxy Home product have not been helped by the lukewarm response to its Bixby virtual assistant.
  • Facebook’s decision to focus on video calling with the Portal was surprising, as it is not a popular use case for smart speakers. The company also lacks a conversational platform of its own, forcing it to use Amazon’s Alexa.

It is only four years since Amazon unveiled the Echo, the first wireless speaker to incorporate a voice-activated virtual assistant. Initial reactions were muted.

GlobalData’s Smart Speakers – Thematic Research report looks at the rise of the smart speaker, from the launch of the first device in 2014 to today, when the biggest names in technology are competing for a slice of a rapidly-growing market.

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