The perennial battle between Alphabet’s Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN) to outsmart each other in the lucrative home device market is intensifying with every passing day. The most popular among the connected devices offered by the home assistant industry, which is currently dominated by the two tech giants, is the smart speaker.
The market for smart speakers is fast expanding as more and more households are lured by the convenience of getting their daily tasks done just by communicating with the voice-activated smart devices. So, naturally several tech companies including Apple (AAPL) are trying to gain a foothold in this area.
Signaling a paradigm shift in the equations going forward, Google has reportedly outsmarted Amazon in smart speaker shipments for the first time in the first quarter, underscoring the status of home assistant devices as the most rapidly growing tech segment in the world.
A number of tech companies including Apple are trying to gain a foothold in the smart speaker market
Statistics released by market research firm Canalys recently showed that around 3.2 million Google Home and Google Mini speakers were sold in the first three months of the current fiscal year, much higher than the 2.5 million Amazon Echo devices sold during the same period. Interestingly, international markets such as China and South Korea accounted for most of the overall shipment growth. While US and China maintained the first and second positions in market share, South Korea outpaced the UK to clinch the third position.
Nevertheless, it is too early to say that Amazon’s dominance in the segment is coming to an end, for the e-commerce giant’s first-mover status and advanced AI technology give it an edge over rivals. Together, the companies hold nearly 95% of the worldwide smart speaker market share.
To stay in the race in a meaningful way, it is imperative that Amazon revises its prices so that it can compete with Google’ comparatively cheaper devices. Making things a bit difficult for Amazon, Google has added more teeth to Google Assistant, the backbone of Home and Mini, and is all set to incorporate all of its services into Home, which is being widely adopted by major retailers and operators.
While others like Alibaba (BABA) and Xiaomi are busy innovating their products, some new entrants are hitting the market, the latest being streaming player Roku Inc. (ROKU).
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