Amazon’s Echo product line has 76% of the U.S. smart speaker market share, according to a report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), which estimated that the total Amazon Echo units sold have reached 15 million in the U.S., up from 10.7 million in March and 5.1 million last November.
The e-commerce company owns a broad range of Echo devices, from the Echo Look featuring a touchscreen for US$199 to the Echo Dot for US$49. There’s also the US$20 Echo Dash Wand specific for kitchen use, such as grocery ordering and recipe showing.
The other 24% smart speaker market share, of course, belongs to the US$130 Google Home, which entered the market last November. “Google captured meaningful share, yet Amazon’s two-year head start allowed Echo to establish the dominant market position,” said Josh Lowitz, co-founder of CIRP.
The report also surveyed 300 owners of Amazon Echo and Google Home devices on their daily interactions with the gadgets. The top four interactions, in order, are related to music, questions, timers and alerts, and control.
Playing music is the first function that users ask their smart speakers to do. Amazon added full music capability to Echo this summer, allowing users to synchronize audio playback across multiple speakers. Google Home has had this feature for a long time. The feature is a big plus for Amazon, since many smart speaker owners are likely to get more than one device.
As for smart home control, which is listed as the fourth frequently used function, Amazon obviously has the advantage since Alexa is supported by more smart device manufacturers and has more voice skills as well.
More players are entering the smart speaker market, including Microsoft, Samsung and Apple. Apple’s HomePod is expected to hit the market by the end of the year. No one knows for sure if it will be a success, however. HomePod sells for US$349 while all its competitors have gadgets priced under US$200.