Focusing on the US market for the estimates, eMarketer found that Amazon continues to dominate with 69.7% of smart speakers used in 2020 being an Echo, despite being slightly down from 2019’s market share of 72.9%.
For 2021, the report predicts Amazon will see yet another small drop in usage, although will still lockdown around 68.2% of the market.
In contrast, Google devices came in second place with 31.7% market share in 2020, while usage of Apple home speakers have dropped so much that it is now being lumped into the “Others” category, combining for around 18% of the market.
Where the Echo fall short on is language support, with other smart speaker brands having support for more non-English languages than Amazon’s devices. This makes Echo speakers less competitive outside of the US.
“Since Amazon first introduced the Echo, it has built a convincing lead in the US and continues to beat back challenges from top competitors,” said Victoria Petrock, eMarketer principal analyst.
“We had previously expected Google and Apple to make more inroads in this market, but Amazon has remained aggressive. By offering affordable devices and building out the number of Alexa skills, the company has maintained Echo’s appeal.”
The report claims that Echo has continued to dominate the market due to consistently releasing new and intuitive features, opening Alexa devices to outside developers, and making them compatible with third-party smart home devices.
In terms of future growth, the report finds that the number of users will continue to rise as voice assistants expand outside of the home and into more smart home appliances and cars. Overall, eMarketer expects about 83.1 million smart speakers in 2020, which is up 13.7% from last year.
“Smart speakers were designed as entry-level devices to get more people used to voice-controlled technology,” Petrock said.
“Over time, we’ll see slowing growth in the number of smart speakers as people turn to voice assistants built into other things within homes, vehicles and on-the-go. Amazon’s next challenge will be to maintain its dominance in these other environments as well.”