Canalys forecast the worldwide installed base of smart speakers will top 200 million units by the end of 2019, with the US accounting for the largest share.
Specifically, the company expects the installed base of 114.0 million in 2018 to grow by 82.4 per cent to 207.9 million this year. The US will account for 42.2 per cent of the total.
Canalys noted East Asian markets, in particular China, stood out as presenting growth opportunities due to “the sheer number of middle-class households and a working population willing to embrace new technology”. It noted the Chinese market is one of the most competitive, but smart speaker leaders Amazon and Google have no presence there.
Senior analyst Jason Low said: “The growing installed base of smart speakers is an opportunity to create new business models and to drive profit beyond music and audio content streaming services.”
“Smart assistants are becoming a conduit to offer services, such as assisted living, healthcare and government services. Smart speakers and smart displays are relatively new device categories for service entities, and platform vendors have a responsibility to ensure that partners and developers know how to use them and their smart assistants to get the most value out of every interaction with end users.”
With regard to China, the smart speaker installed base is expected to reach 59.9 million units by the end of 2019, led by Tmall Genie. “Local vendors are bullish about China’s smart speaker market, and their aim for this year is to keep growing their respective installed bases in the country by shipping more devices into households,” Low said.
Canalys expects the installed base of smart speakers to pass the installed tablet base by 2021.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back