Amazon will prevail in the war of the smart home hubs in the fourth quarter, cornering more than two-thirds of global sales, Strategy Analytics predicted.
According to the research company, an estimated 68 per cent of smart speakers sold globally during the quarter will be based on Amazon’s Alexa platform. Alexa is the backbone of a range of Amazon devices, including the newly released Echo Plus and Echo Spot smart home speakers.
Around 20 per cent of customers are forecast to purchase devices using Google’s Assistant including Google’s Home and new Home Mini speakers.
The forecast marks a significant change from Q4 2016, when Strategy Analytics noted Amazon took an 88 per cent share of the worldwide market and Google 10 per cent.
Strategy Analytics’ Connected Home Devices director David Watkins in March predicted Google would “significantly cut” Amazon’s lead thanks to its “superior AI platform and well-established technology licensing model”.
Reports from other sources indicate Google is already finding favour with a US audience.
A Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) study from September found Amazon held a 76 per cent share of the US market while Google, which debuted the Home hub in November 2016, had already captured 24 per cent.
“Google captured meaningful share, yet Amazon’s two-year head start allowed Echo to establish the dominant market position,” CIRP co-founder Josh Lowitz wrote at the time.
Strategy Analytics didn’t reveal its prediction for Apple’s smart home speaker – HomePod – which will join the market in December. However the company did note overall sales of the devices are expected to reach nearly 12 million units globally in Q4 2017, for a full year total of around 24 million units.