Google announced during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week that Google Assistant will be available on 1 billion devices by the end of January, representing a doubling of the voice-activated assistant's installed base since May 2018, according to a Google blog post.
Also at CES, Google said it has forged plans to integrate Google Assistant with more electronics products and appliances, including Sonos smart speakers, Samsung TVs, DISH Network Corp.'s Hopper receivers and KitchenAid appliances, according to a Bloomberg story.
Among other updates, Google also said Assistant's base of active users is four times what it was a year ago, and that the number of smart home devices connected to Google Assistant has grown by 600% over the last year.
Google Assistant is often viewed as second fiddle among voice-activated virtual assistants, primarily because the Echo devices in which Amazon's Alexa primarily lives have helped Amazon to lead market share in the smart speaker market. Though Google, with its Google Home device family, has been making up ground in that market, Amazon still has a larger device family.
But, when separating the voice assistant technology from its native device, it should come as no surprise that Google Assistant already has a much broader reach than Alexa. While Alexa is available through 100 million devices, in no way a trivial number, Google Assistant is available through 10 times as many, largely due to its installed presence in Android mobile smartphones and other Android devices, but also smart speakers, TVs and other products from manufacturers. The new partnerships announced this week at CES will only further extend that reach.
Though Amazon has worked to bring Alexa to other devices through similar partnerships, most mobile devices are off limits (Alexa isn't likely to be embedded in iPhones with Siri around).
However, that's not to say Amazon and Alexa aren't in a very strong position to lead the embryonic voice commerce market, regardless of how many devices possess Google Assistant technology. Google's horse in the voice-activated assistant race has come far very quickly, and is speeding up. Its growing list of partnerships with retailers will also help Google Assistant become more of a force in voice commerce, but it still has some distance to go to draw even with Alexa.