Canalys Predicts 2018 Will Be 'Defining Year' for Smart Speaker Growth

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A new report posted today by Canalys predicts that 2018 will be "the defining year" for smart speaker adoption, with the global market expected to grow to 56.3 million shipments by the end of the year, up from just over 30 million in 2017 (via TechCrunch).

Canalys predicts that Amazon and Google will remain in the lead with Echo and Home speakers, respectively. In addition to existing products, Apple's HomePod will be one of multiple new entries in the market to help smart speaker consumer adoption grow this year.


Canalys research analyst Lucio Chen said that smart speaker uptake has "grown faster than any other consumer technology" the group has recently encountered, including augmented reality, virtual reality, and wearables.
"2018 will be the defining year for smart speaker adoption," said Canalys Research Analyst Lucio Chen. "Smart speaker uptake has grown faster than any other consumer technology we've recently encountered, such as AR, VR or even wearables. While 2017 has been a banner year for smart speakers in terms of hardware sales, especially for Google and Amazon, smart speakers in 2018 will move beyond hardware, with strategic attempts to monetize the growing installed base in the US and beyond.

The possibilities to do this are endless, be it discreet advertising, content subscription bundles, premium services or enterprise solutions. The technology is still in transition, and increased investments from multiple players of the ecosystem will fuel growth."
On a country-by-country basis, the United States is believed to remain "the single most important market" for smart speakers in 2018, with shipments predicted to reach 38.4 million units. China is then marked as a distant second place with 4.4 million units. Looking further into the future, Canalys mentioned that the U.S. will hold its top spot in the global smart speaker market through 2020.

Canalys wrote that smart speaker adoption has accelerated on a global scale due to "successful upgrades" to existing products, and potential for smart home integration.
"Vendors have begun offering successful upgrades to their latest models, and a key element driving this stickiness are the smart home partnerships. Alexa's multiple smart home integrations, Google's partnership with Nest and Apple's HomeKit initiatives will continue to excite consumers of the smart speaker and fuel sales in 2018."
The HomePod will be Apple's entry into the smart speaker market, allowing users to use voice commands to control HomeKit devices, play Apple Music, ask Siri questions, and more. The device was previously set to launch in December 2017, but in November Apple decided to delay the speaker's debut to early 2018. Since that delay we haven't heard any mention of when the HomePod might launch, but the company's definition of "early" is generally January through April.

Article Link: Canalys Predicts 2018 Will Be 'Defining Year' for Smart Speaker Growth
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Dec 15, 2010
22,173
11,713
UK
And from the sounds google home and amazon smart speakers went down on price as they think people are indeed waiting for the HomePod
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,478
34,573
I don’t think Siri can ever be as good as the google assistant.
As someone as myself who uses Siri on a regular basis, I agree that Google assistant is much better in dictation and producing accurate results. The speed of Google assistant also produces results faster. Siri has its moments when it works efficiently and other times it can be frustrating, but Google Assistant has improved significantly where Siri struggles at times.
 

JTR555

macrumors regular
Jun 25, 2013
112
30
Virginia
I’ve waited patiently for HomePod, but the more I read about its price, lack of smaller additional speakers, the need for a nearby iPhone / iPad to function, closed ecosystem and other limitations, the more I questioned if it was what I wanted for my home. I asked my friends on Facebook if any of them had Alexa or Google and a surprising number do with most of them opting for Alexa. I caved and ordered an Echo Dot this morning, so we’ll see how that goes.
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Dec 15, 2010
22,173
11,713
UK
I’ve waited patiently for HomePod, but the more I read about its price, lack of smaller additional speakers, the need for a nearby iPhone / iPad to function, closed ecosystem and other limitations, the more I questioned if it was what I wanted for my home. I asked my friends on Facebook if any of them had Alexa or Google and a surprising number do with most of them opting for Alexa. I caved and ordered an Echo Dot this morning, so we’ll see how that goes.
Why would a nearby iPhone or iPad be an issue? Unless of course you don’t have either..chances are if you have a HomePod your Apple device won’t be far away

For me as long as I can play podcasts through it then I think it would be worth getting. As I listen to podcasts more than music at home

Also if you can control Apple TV with it will be interesting.
 

SoApple

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2012
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As someone as myself who uses Siri on a regular basis, I agree that Google assistant is much better in dictation and producing accurate results. The speed of Google assistant also produces results faster. Siri has its moments when it works efficiently and other times it can be frustrating, but Google Assistant has improved significantly where Siri struggles at times.
Agreed. Hopefully, Apple will have - somehow- improved on Siri with the launch of the HP
 

jayducharme

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2006
3,624
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The thick of it
I don't get this trend, maybe because I don't have a "connected" home and don't see the need for one at this point. If I need info, it's not much trouble to look at my phone or tablet. I don't need a "smart assistant" to tell me to look there. The only thing that intrigues me about the HomePod is the sound quality. If indeed it's as good as rumored, it could make a decent (if pricey) bluetooth speaker with some added features.
 
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travelsheep

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2013
588
595
HomePod could be $ 600 and be chargeable by hand-crank only (sold separately), and still sell like crazy .. because Apple.
 
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filmantopia

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2010
688
1,703
While I wait for the HomePod I’m using a Google Home Mini which I received as a holiday gift. I gotta say I’m really enjoying to more than I would have thought.

I have been using it for:

News
Weather
Podcasts
Music
Smarthome (lights)
Lots of random questions
Timers

And I plan to use it for purchases, like toilet paper, etc.

The thing is great at understanding me and remarkably smart.
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
12,021
9,176
Austin, TX
But we can't count on HomePod to ever support Sonos, Google Play Music, or any other third party service for that matter. As someone who has a ton of money in Sonos, I'll pass.
 

autrefois

macrumors 65816
Oct 22, 2003
1,383
1,110
Somewhere in the USA
I could never have a “live” speaker in my home. The security issues just bother me.
It's kind of like 1984, except that people are willing doing it to themselves. A device that is constantly listening; what could possibly go wrong?

There's already been at least one case where police tried to use a smart speaker in their investigation, and the government can still issue FISA warrants to grab data they want with essentially no real judicial oversight. Apple admits they receive and sometimes comply with "requests" for individuals' data and have offered to help in certain cases.

Some will say this is conspiracy thinking, but no one can dispute the facts. You can interpret them how you like, but I will not be putting a smart speaker in my home.
 

npmacuser5

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2015
1,244
1,280
I don't get this trend, maybe because I don't have a "connected" home and don't see the need for one at this point. If I need info, it's not much trouble to look at my phone or tablet. I don't need a "smart assistant" to tell me to look there. The only thing that intrigues me about the HomePod is the sound quality. If indeed it's as good as rumored, it could make a decent (if pricey) bluetooth speaker with some added features.
Sonos already has a very good sound quality integrated sound system with benefits. At a more attractive price and more options to fit ones needs. The personal assistant can be summed up in one word, convenient. Many times my phone in use, not with me, and I want to skip a song. Or my hands are in a cooking mess and I need a conversion. Also faster, ones phone in pocket, now tell me tomorrow’s weather. Before one could even get their phone out of the pocket, all done with the voice assistant. A needed feature, No, very nice too have however.
 
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gnipgnop

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2009
1,435
1,616
the need for a nearby iPhone / iPad to function
From what I've seen, the initial set-up requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Once it's set up, seems reasonable to assume that it can function through voice commands alone if you want, or you can use one of those previously mentioned devices to control certain aspects. I doubt there's any requirement for them to be "nearby" though after set-up.
 

TroyBoy30

macrumors 68020
Jun 9, 2009
2,300
930
Atlanta GA
already got my sonos one and loving it. excellent sound, elaxa which is better than siri and tons of integrations, not just apple music
 
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DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
9,006
10,124
Philadelphia, PA
I like my Amazon Echo - I don't really see the need for spending $300 on something similar from Apple. I don't even have a music account with Amazon and it plays anything I want. I much prefer Amazon's approach so far when it comes to smart home stuff as well.
 
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The Game 161

macrumors Core
Dec 15, 2010
22,173
11,713
UK
I’m only use Apple Music so HomePod only working with Apple Music is fine for me but can see why it wouldn’t be for others who use others like Spotify
 

kildraik

macrumors 6502a
May 7, 2006
837
979
Disposable junk like a “smart speaker,” makes me laugh. Silly.

I actually just face-palmed myself.
 
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mcdspncr

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2011
159
198
I could never have a “live” speaker in my home. The security issues just bother me.
If you have an iPhone 6s or newer there’s a decent chance you already have one. Can you just say “Hey Siri ....” and get a response from your phone without pressing a button?
 
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