Google Home Gains Ground On Amazon Echo With Blockbuster Holiday 2017 Sales
Google has carved out a significant chunk of the smart home speaker market with its Home speaker line, which now accounts for nearly a third of all installed home automation devices, according to data and analysis by Consumer Intelligence Researcher Partners (CIRP). Just as importantly, Google has managed to shrink the gap in the market place between its speakers and Amazon's Echo line.
No small feat, Amazon essentially created the smart home speaker market when it unexpectedly launched its first Echo product over two and a half years ago. It was an immediate success, and continues to be today. In addition, Amazon's successful play in the smart home speaker space prompted others to join the fray, including Google, Microsoft (with Harman Kardon, and soon Apple.
By the numbers, Google Home has a large presence in the United States—there are around 14 million Google Home units installed in the U.S., accounting for 31 percent of the market, CIRP says. Meanwhile, Amazon still sits on top with 31 million Echo speakers in the U.S., giving it a 69 percent share of the market. Both benefited from strong holiday season sales.
"Home automation devices were the star of the holiday shopping season in 2017," said Josh Lowitz, Partner and co-founder of CIRP. "In less than a year, the installed base more than doubled, as Amazon and Google brought new models to the U.S. market quickly, and aggressively promoted and discounted these products."
Both Amazon and Google have emphasized lower priced models, helping them to sell more units. Between the two, the install base grew by 18 million units in the fourth quarter of 2017, with Google accounting for around 40 percent of units sold in the U.S. That marks Google's largest share of quarterly sales since its Home speaker was introduced in 2016.