Smart speakers will be the fastest-growing new category of technology in 2018, according to research by analytics firm Canalys.
Smart speaker sales will beat sales of wearables, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) devices, three of the commonly named technologies previously said to grow fast in a maturing smartphone market.
Total smart speaker sales are expected to reach a whopping 56.3 million units in 2018, with Google and Amazon expected to lead the way with their Google Home and Alexa speakers. Apple is also expected to release its higher-end, Siri-powered HomePod speaker early in 2018. The United States will be the biggest market for such smart speakers with 38.4 million of expected sales, or 68% of the total.
“2018 WILL BE THE DEFINING YEAR FOR SMART SPEAKER ADOPTION”
Canalys provided the following prediction for the smart speaker market this year:
The key word here is clearly monetization. While in late 2017, Google and Amazon are estimated to have sold their Google Home and Alexa speakers at cost or even at a loss, in 2018, the companies will look for ways to monetize, according to Canalys.