The Amazon Echo is reportedly the most popular smart speaker with consumers, with almost three times as many in the marketplace than Google Home. That’s not all surprising considering the head-start, with the Echo debuting in 2015 – although Google has managed to gobble up a massive stake in that market since its launch last year.
According to research firm eMarketer, the Amazon Echo currently commands a 70% share of the voice-controlled speaker market, far more than the 23.8% held by Google Home. That would give Amazon a commanding lead – meaning almost three times as many people own an Echo than those who own Google’s hardware.
Google’s numbers are hardly bad news for the company, despite Amazon’s two-year head start, the search engine giant has made a significant dent in the Echo’s momentum. The Echo also led the way for international expansion, with the Google Home only just launching in the UK – months behind Amazon’s speaker.
Amazon’s lead can also be attributed to its work with the developer community. Google has thus far opted to work directly with partners to launch Google Home skills, while Amazon has opened up the flood gates to just about everyone. While that means there is a gap in the number of devices supported by Google Home compared to Amazon Echo, that gap continues to close.
International support could also fuel further growth in the smart speaker category. This is one place that Google has the edge, with its speaker supporting smart home devices worldwide – while Amazon Echo lacks support for many of its services in the UK and Germany, despite skills being available in the US.
The US will likely remain the biggest market for this voice-controlled speakers, however. eMarketer estimates that 35.6 million Americans will use a smart speaker at least once a month in 2017, a 128.9% increase over last year. With Apple and Microsoft also supposedly working on Google Home and Amazon Echo competitors, that number can only grow further.
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