Regardless of the fact that voice assistants have been around for some time, it is only now that the people are truly starting to accept them. Interestingly, despite growth in adoption rate, there are only two major players in this market space – Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant. And both of them showing signs of expanding consumer base like never before. Let us look at each of them in detail.
Amazon Alexa’s Position In the Platform War
Amazon is a company which is usually tight-lipped over the sales figures of its devices. However, the company’s SVP of devices and services, Dave Limp, recently revealed to the Verge that the company have sold over 100 million devices which are powered by Alexa. It is flattery to look at, even more, impressive when you think about it.
But there is one big problem. The 100 million pales in comparison when it comes to the smartphone devices which have either Google Assistant or Siri pre-installed in them. However, it also reveals that people are making a conscious alternative choice to buy a voice assistant that they prefer rather than the one handed to them.
Hence, Alexa might be doing very well on its own. Google, on the other hand, might have something to say about that.
The Google Assistant Announcement
After Amazon revealed that it sold over 100 million Alexa devices, Google couldn’t stay quiet anymore. Instead, they went ahead and claimed that the Google assistant will be on a billion devices by the end of this month! This news might come as a surprise when related to the Alexa announcement, but in reality, it was inevitable. In Google I/O 2018, it was revealed that the Google Assistant was running on 500 million devices already. Moreover, due to global expansion, the usage of the Assistant has increased over 4 times Y-o-Y.
With the devices that Google Assistant has access to, its reach is a lot more than its competitors. Hence, it does have a clear advantage. Having said that, people need to take to their voice assistant first to ensure usage. If they don’t, the market is already filled with plenty of able alternatives.
Where Does Siri Come In All This?
With Apple’s dwindling sales situation with regards to its iPhone, the position of Siri in the market is debatable. Having said that, like Google, Siri does have access to iPhones with which it can come in pre-installed. But at the moment, they are far behind the likes of the Google Assistant in terms of reaching out to the consumer base.
Will There Be Any Other Voice Assistant In the Market?
Microsoft might have a say in this with its Cortana, but it is less likely that there will be more competitors to the ones mentioned above. Does that mean the other companies won’t be manufacturing smart devices at all? That won’t be the case. It will just happen that the companies, like JBL and Sonos, which do come up with smart devices, will have one of the above assistants pre-installed in them. To put things into perspective, Google is expecting a massive 600% increase incompatibility with smart-home devices, with the service now supporting nearly 10,000 devices from 1,600 brands.
CES 2019: The Place to Be
All these talks above are in preparation of CES 2019. With Google and Amazon expected to heavily promote their voice assistants during this time, it is going to be interesting as to the measures each of them takes to achieve so. Google, as always with its “shock and awe” advertising model, is expected to make more of a mark. But it would be foolish to write off Alexa this soon. Hence, it is going to be quite a fight in this platform war!