Google Home is making some inroads against Amazon’s Echo devices, powered by its voice-activated personal assistant, Alexa. According to Search Engine Land, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) said that Google Home represented 40 percent of the units sold during the holiday selling period in the U.S.
According to the report, CIRP found that Google Home now has 31 percent market share, compared to 69 percent for Amazon’s Echo devices. During the fourth quarter of 2017 – which includes the holiday shopping season – the research firm found that the market increased by 18 million units, coming in just shy of 45 million.
The survey shows that Google Home is gaining on Amazon Alexa, and could close in even more in the coming months. Amazon does have a big advantage over Google in terms of distribution and brand recognition, as it was early to the market.
This report comes as Apple is gearing up to roll out its HomePod voice-activated smart speaker, which will be available as of Feb. 9 at a price of $349. Apple said the HomePod, which is just under 7 inches tall, will have “stunning” audio quality wherever it is placed in one’s home and can play any style music. Users will be able to activate Apple Music via voice commands. Siri, Apple's its voice-activated virtual assistant, has developed a lot of knowledge about music, and can now understand the preferences and tastes of its users. HomePod can also send messages, set a timer, play podcasts, check the news and sports scores, acquire traffic info and weather updates, and control smart home accessories.
“HomePod is a magical new music experience from Apple. It brings advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer and automatic spatial awareness, together with the entire Apple Music catalog and the latest Siri intelligence, in a simple, beautiful design that is so much fun to use,” Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said in the press release announcing the launch.