Once part of our private lives as virtual assistants, more than 35 smart speaker models have now been discontinued (as of April 2022), 46 brands haven’t released a new smart speaker since 2019 and 34 companies haven’t released a new smart speaker since 2018, a new report said on Wednesday.
Although Amazon-branded smart speakers grew 33 per cent during the during the second quarter (Q2) compared to last year, other brands like Google and Apple were down 31 per cent and 57 per cent, respectively.
The US smart speaker market continued to contract during Q2 2Q22, posting a decline of 14 per cent year-over-year (YoY), according to global market research firm Omdia.
“With the number of smart speaker releases fading, Omdia believes new use cases will be introduced to the market, now that there is a sizable installed base,” said research analyst Teik Chuan Goh.
The high penetration rate could reduce demand for replacement speakers while promoting new opportunities like senior care, healthcare monitoring and security features/services,” Goh added.
Given the rapid growth in the US smart speaker market over the past few years, the penetration rate for smart speakers in the US went from 36 per cent in 2017 to just 52 per cent as of 2021, indicating that brands are less active relative to previous years.
France, Germany and the UK recorded 3.6 million smart speaker shipments, with Amazon representing about 80 per cent of shipments.
South Korea, China and Australia represented 21 million smart speaker shipments.
Alibaba was the market leader, representing 36 per cent of shipments during the quarter. Baidu was second, followed by Xiaomi and Huawei.
The next step for smart speakers will be far more difficult and controversial — trying to make an assistant more active in the home without invading privacy or becoming a nuisance,” said Goh.