According to Canalys’ forecast, global smart speakers will be as much as 200 million by the end of 2019.

To be exact, worldwide will grow by 82.4% from 114.0 million units in 2018 to 207.9 million in 2019.

Canalys estimates that the United States should maintain the primacy in terms of smart speaker adoption. They should represent 42.2% of the devices installed globally by the end of the year.

The performance of the markets in East Asia, especially China, is outstanding. These countries have more opportunities for growth, due to the number of middle-class households. It is also a working population who want to adopt new technologies. The Chinese market is one of the most competitive in the world, but Google and Amazon are not yet present.

According to Jason Low, Senior Analyst of Canalys, the growing installed base of smart speakers is an opportunity to create new business models. And to generate profits beyond music and audio streaming services.

Smart assistants, continues the analyst, are becoming a channel to offer services. Smart speakers and smart displays are categories of relatively new devices for the realities that provide services. Vendors are therefore responsible for ensuring that partners and developers know how to use them to get the most out of any interaction with end users.

Smart speaker: the perspectives

The installed smart speaker base in China is expected to reach 59.9 million units by the end of 2019. Still according to Low, local vendors are optimistic about the smart speaker market in China. Their goal this year is to continue to grow their respective bases installed in the country, bringing more devices into the homes.

The differentiation of hardware, continues the analysis of Canalys, is becoming increasingly difficult. Consumers have higher expectations than smart speakers and smart assistants. Vendors will therefore have to focus on marketing the next generation “wow factor” for their respective intelligent assistants and voice services. In order to change consumer perception and promote greater adoption of these systems.

The ICT industry as a whole, suggests Canalys, should now take note of the size and speed of growth of the smart speaker market. And the increasing use of intelligent assistants.

Vendors point to the fact that smart assistants become the default option to channel on a large scale essential information and communication obligations for citizens. Allowing new integrations of services, such as digital health and l’assisted living.

Technological players in the areas of security, finance, health, data analysis and others should therefore be alert to the new opportunities arising from this trend, concludes Canalys.

More information on the quarterly smart speaker estimates and forecasts is available on the Canalys Smart Speaker Analysis service at this link.

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