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Why Apple is going to make an Echo killer

Published May 8th, 2017 3:50PM EDT
Amazon Echo vs. Virtual Assistants
Image: YouTube

Apple is making a Siri speaker competitor for the Amazon Echos and Google Homes of the world, and the iOS-based product might be unveiled as soon as this month. Rumors say that Apple will introduce a more expensive home assistant speaker than what’s already available out there, and new research seems to indicate the market for voice assistants for the home is going to keep getting bigger and bigger.

In a research note seen by BGR, eMarketer says that Amazon controls 70% of the voice-enabled speaker market. This year, 35.6 million Americans are expected to use a voice-enabled speaker at least once a month, which marks a 128.9% increase over last year.

Overall, 60.5 million Americans will use Siri, Cortana, or other virtual assistants at least once a month, the report says. The heaviest users are people between 25 and 34, representing 26.3% of virtual assistant users. More than a third of millennials will use an assistant this year.

Amazon dominates the market with 70.6% share, with Google Home placing second with 23.8%. The little that remains goes to smaller companies, including Lenovo, LG, Harmon Kardon, and Mattel.

The report makes no mention of a competitor from Apple, noting that Google’s share will grow while Amazon’s share will drop only slightly in the coming years.
In a second note looking at the performance of Amazon’s Echo, CIRP says that 10.7 million US American customers already own an Amazon Echo device. Amazon sold no less than 2.5 million Echo devices in the March quarter.

“The installed base of Amazon Echo devices in US homes continues to grow,” CIRP partner and co-founder Mike Levin said.

“In a slower retail quarter, Amazon grew the US Echo count by almost 25%. Even more impressive, the installed base more than tripled in the past year, from about 3 million units as of March 31, 2016.”

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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