First Alexa was playing music and turning on the lights. Then she helped you book appointments, put together grocery lists, and try on new clothes. Now she’s letting you video chat with friends and family — and soon she’ll be able to sense how you’re feeling.
And she’s not alone. In the years since Amazon’s 2014 introduction of the Echo, smart speakers have become one of the fastest-growing device segments in the consumer technology market, and other tech giants have been iterating hardware to develop their own flagship devices — most notably the Google Home powered by Google Assistant, the Apple HomePod powered by Siri, and the Galaxy Home powered by Samsung’s Bixby.
These tech leaders aren’t just releasing devices, either; they’re building out entire ecosystems powered by AI, pairing first-party hardware, software, and even third-party apps to advance other business interests. And since smart home device ownership has a snowball effect, winning over customers now likely means locking in more of their business later.
Smart speaker adoption is still relatively low compared to the over-saturated smartphone and tablet markets, so tech companies have plenty of runway to get customers to buy into their distinct smart home visions — but the newcomers have a lot of ground to make up.
Here’s how each of the major players is leaning into their strengths in the smart speaker market:
Want to learn more?
The Smart Speaker Report from Business Insider Intelligence looks at the state of the smart speaker market and outlines how each of the major device providers approaches the space. It focuses on the key factors affecting whether or not someone owns one of these devices, as well as why people don’t own them.
Finally, the report looks at what consumers are actually doing with their smart speakers — specifically how the devices are used and perceived in e-commerce, digital media, and banking — to help companies determine how well they’re publicizing their smart speaker services and capabilities.
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