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Wiretaps - Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Google Home

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The number of “Alexa, _____” jokes on Twitter is proof smart speakers have politely greeted their way into our everyday lives, and new data from research firm CIRP backs that up:

  • The U.S. installed base for smart speakers grew to 66 million units in December 2018—up from 53 million a quarter earlier.

Who’s winning? Amazon Echo devices lead the domestic market with a 70% share. Google Home takes second place at 24%, and Apple’s HomePod claims 6%.

But that market dominance means something different for everyone, per smart speaker whisperer Benedict Evans.

  • Google and Facebook are in it for your data.
  • Apple wants to a) sell you expensive devices with serious margins and b) make sure you never leave its ecosystem.
  • Amazon, though, has less black-and-white ambitions for Alexa…

For many users, it’s still a “glorified clock-radio,” Evans writes. But if Amazon can convert the 100 million Alexa-enabled devices that've been sold into glorified clock-radios that can get you to actually buy more things from Amazon...Alexa could unlock its “deeper strategic value.”

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