Amazon pretty much invented the smart speaker category when the company introduced the Amazon Echo in 2014. And Amazon has pretty much dominated the space ever since… until this year.
According to research from Canalysis, Google took the top spot in smart speaker sales for the first time in the first quarter of 2018. Amazon came in a close second.
Chinese companies Alibaba and Xiaomi took third and fourth place, respectively. Apple’s $349 HomePod didn’t even make the list, instead getting grouped in with all “others.” Maybe the rumored $199 Apple smart speaker will help Apple move up in the charts… if it actually exists.
The smart speaker market is still growing fast. Canalys estimates that global shipments were up 210-percent year-over-year, with around 2.9 million units shipping globally in Q1, 2017 and about 9 million shipping during the same period a year later.
Q1 is also an interesting period to look at, because by all accounts Google and Amazon both sold way more smart speakers in Q4, 2017. That’s not surprising, since both companies offered deep discounts on their entry-level speakers ahead of the holiday season.
So there’s a chance that a year from now we could see numbers that look totally different if overall sales continue to trend upward and/or we see more competitive pricing.
Then again, we could also see sales of this sort of device take a nose-dive if Amazon, Google, and others can’t do more to guarantee that placing always-listening microphones in your house isn’t just asking for an invasion of privacy.
If people were smart, they wouldn’t buy these. Google and Amazon are so desperate to get into your home they would give these pieces of shit away for free. Imagine how stupid you sound talking to the box to turn the light on when you’re standing beside the light switch.
Google sold more? Oh wow, surprise there. It’s not like Amazon has a search box that millions visit a day where they can place a link advertising their speaker boxes. Amazon doesn’t have that real estate do they?
Think of how moronic you are. People have their smartphones on the table with essentially the same capability as some box. These are conduits onto future ads or services to sell you. Aside from that they get their information (royalty free) from the content creators who are left out on the revenue generation. Just a total crock of shit.
I actually felt a lot like you when Echo was first announced, and couldn’t imagine why anyone would want one given what their phones can do. My wife bought one and I quickly bought two more. They are great at controlling home automation, but it’s not for when you’re standing next to the switch. It’s for when the switch is in an inconvenient location, or when you forget to turn the fan on before getting in the shower. It’s also for when it’s darker outside than normal due to the weather and your timed light needs to be turned on a bit earlier. And as I mentioned above, they are great hands-free timers, which is particularly nice when you’re cooking.
Surprisingly they aren’t very good at giving you information, except for the most simple information, such as the weather forecast or who is the daughter of someone.
If those boxes were able to play music for free, no ads, not from your playlists, would it bother you? How about if those boxes informed you about how to do something. Imagine if the musician/band or chef made zilch from what you consider a helpful tool. Well of course not paying for things is nice. It’s nice for Google and Amazon to pay nothing for the content they spew to your ears. You don’t care about where this “stuff” comes from and whether people are compensated for this convenience in your life. Heck, if you could watch movies for free, ad free, I’m sure you would be raving about how awesome that is and how much better it is. All you have to do (like you’ve done) is to ignore what is really going on. Just consume that shit for free and love it and hope people keep producing shit for free for your personal consumption.
I’m surprised so many people are willing to let a Google device listen to them given how invasive Google is when it comes to user privacy.
For some reason, Google gets a lot of goodwill from people despite Google not being very privacy friendly.
I think the Google dashboard gives you excellent control over your privacy but if you’re really concerned, don’t sign in to your Google account. Nearly all of Google’s services except Gmail, Drive, Cloud, and the like are still available. I guess I could fault Google for playing ball with the Chinese government in order to do business in China but other than that, I’m at a loss to explain much anti-Google sentiment.
Live with your head in the sand much tehodler?
This fad has been great for me as I have been given 2 dumb bluetooth speakers from people who upgraded. I am expecting to get a smart speaker 3 years from now (when the next fad comes along).
They always seem tempting until you ask what would I use it for.
They are mainly useful for two things: (1) Controlling home automation; and (2) Timers! The latter are hands-free, which is surprisingly nice when you’re cooking. I used to frequently use the Multi-Timer app on my phone, but now I seldom use it.
I wonder how much of this is political in larger dense markets? California and New York have a lot of DNC-leaning media outlets that trash Amazon whenever possible while turning a blind eye to the even more egregious excesses of Apple and Google.
Do you have links to these biased media articles?
Why would Amazon not be liked by “DNC-leaning media outlets”? Jeff Bezos even has a history of donating to Democrats.
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