The smart speaker market has gone from strength to strength over 2017, with loads of new devices and brands entering the fray. But when it comes to pure sales, it appears that a clear leader is emerging, and that's Amazon.
According to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Amazon's Echo devices are shipping at a rate of three to one when compared to its nearest rival, Google Home. According to the report, that puts sales at an estimated 20 million for the Amazon Echo range, versus 7 million for Google Home.
The numbers have been collated up to September 2017, which means the all-important Black Friday and Christmas sales periods have not been factored in. But given the growing brand awareness around the Echo line, and the fact that Amazon consistently pushes tempting deals around its smart speakers, it'd be hard to imagine that ratio having shifted dramatically in the meantime.
More to come
Both Google and Amazon have expanded their smart speaker offerings this year. Amazon revamped its existing Echo, and added the Echo Spot, Echo Plus and Echo Show to its stable that already included the diminutive Echo Dot. Google also put out the Google Home Mini and Google Home Max, each powered by its Google Assistant.
Increasingly, the two companies' smart assistants were seen propping up third party speaker feature lists too, with the likes of Sonos, JBL and Sony all adding either Google or Amazon voice-activated smarts to their wares.
But next year will be the true test of Amazon's dominance. Not only will Apple's long-awaited HomePod hit shelves, but Samsung's own smart speaker line, powered by its Bixby helper, is expected to make a big push, too. It'll be very interesting to see if the dial has shifted by this same time next year, when all the major players have set out their respective stalls.
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Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of iMore.com. Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.