Amazon Echo leads the market for home automation devices with an estimated 69% market share, with about 31 million units sold. Google Home holds nearly all the remaining market share, with 14 million units sold, according to newly-released estimates from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP.)
Google Home accounted for about 40% of the overall 18 million units in the final quarter of 2017, as the total installed base of such home automation devices more than doubled within the last year, according to CIRP.
The research, based on a survey of 500 device owners, also found that around 20% of Amazon Echo owners have more than one of the devices, while the percentage of Google Home owners with multiple devices is about 13%.
This could be a big year for Google’s aspirations in the home automation/smart speaker market. Research-driven venture capital firm Loup Ventures predicted as much a few weeks ago, and these figures from CIRP provide even more reason to believe it will happen.
It may seem strange to say that a few days after Apple formally outlined plans for the upcoming availability of its HomePod product, potentially a new major competitive force in the market, but Google certainly has a head start.
The whole market is surging, and Amazon remains the top dog. If you take into account a handful of studies that have looked at the market for these voice-activated devices over the last year or so, Amazon’s market share has continued to hover around 68% to 70%. Meanwhile, Google’s share, estimated at about 23% last spring, appears to be pushing past 30% now.
Amazon pioneered the market with the original Echo and Alexa virtual assistant (which is now connected to everything from microwaves to toilets), but others have entered the fray and there are more to come; its market share is due for a reckoning.
But that all depends on how quickly both Google and Amazon can establish ecosystems in consumers' homes. According to CIRP, "around 60% of Amazon Echo and Google Home users also have connected at least one other accessory, such as thermostats, security systems, appliances, and lighting. Between learning a new operating system and interface, and connecting these smart speakers to the growing range of smart home accessories, new entrants will have trouble finding a place in homes that already have an Amazon Echo or Google Home."
Still, more players seem game to enter this market, and market share could turn on many factors — certainly overall product design and richness of features and applications — and price is an important differentiator. That's something that may make it tough for quick adoption of the Apple HomePod, considering its steep $349 price tag.