With the announcement earlier this week that Apple will be selling a smart speaker called the Apple HomePod, it adds another player to a market that is suddenly overflowing with manufacturers. Amazon, which introduced the category with 2014’s Echo, recently introduced a model called Echo Show that features a touchscreen. While Apple ‘s new device won’t be launched until December, the Harman Kardon Invoke, which includes Microsoft’s Cortana AI assistant, will be released this fall.
At last count, Amazon owns a 70.6% share of the smart speaker market. Google Home is second with a 23.8% slice of the pie. Google hopes to cut into that deficit. One way to do that is to market the Google Home constantly with a massive advertising campaign. Today, Google posted a new 30 second television spot titled “Show Off.” You can check it out by clicking on the video at the top of the story.
Amazon’s huge market share at this stage is similar to Apple’s domination of the tablet market in the early years. That is only natural when you’re the company that created the category. But if past is prologue, Amazon will eventually see its share decline as other manufacturers are able to compete on price and features. For example, Apple is focusing on the home audio market with its Apple Music integration and premium speakers. With a price double that of the Echo Show, it seems obvious that the Apple HomePod is being positioned as the high-end smart speaker to consumers.
It will be interesting to see this product and market evolve over the next few years.