Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) released data yesterday showing that 20 million Amazon Echo and 7 million Google Home smart speakers have been purchased by U.S. Consumers. This analysis confirms Voicebot’s earlier estimate of 20.5 million Amazon Echo devices sold through the end of Q3 2017. It also aligns with recent comments by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. CIRP’s June estimate showed 15 million Echo and 5 million Google Home sold. That means Amazon Echo and Home sales grew 33% and 40% respectively during the third quarter of 2017. It also suggests current U.S. market share is 74% for Amazon and 26% for Google.
U.S. Consumer Reach to Exceed 50 Million in Late 2017
These figures are significant. Other estimates suggest about 8.5 to 11 million devices will be sold in the U.S. in Q4 2017. That means total smart speakers sold and in use will approach 40 million in the U.S. That will represent over 20 million U.S. households and consumer reach exceeding 50 million people. The global smart speaker install base will significantly exceed 40 million units at the close of 2017.
Amazon Echo and Google Home Establishing a Big Advantage
The report authors point out that Amazon and Google are establishing a big advantage over rivals such as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Samsung that are releasing devices in Q4 2017 or plan to in 2018. CIRP co-founder Josh Lowitz commented in a release about the report:
Amazon and now Google have a huge headstart in establishing their home automation operating platforms. The number of services, skills, and applications that already integrate with Amazon Alexa and Google Home systems, and the installed bases of early adopters who lead the way as more and more homes seek to be connected in these ways, create significant hurdles for an entrant with a new home operating system.
This is about more than first-in-the-home will be first-in-the-heart. Smart speaker adoption is about much more than the devices. It includes third-party voice app developers supporting the platforms, smart home device manufacturer integration, consumer awareness and habit formation. Many companies will deliver capable smart speakers with more than adequate voice assistants. That doesn’t mean they will be successful building an ecosystem that is essential to the consumer value equation. Apple still has a decent shot at this due to its 15 million strong iOS developer base and global customer reach. Facebook’s developer community for Messenger could also be an asset. Amazon and Google’s assets are sure to grow along with their voice assistant installed base. Everyone else better move quickly to blunt those growing advantages.