The smart speaker market is expected to grow to 56.3 million shipments in 2018.
Amazon, which produces Echo, and Google, which produces Home, will lead the global smart speaker market.
Google and Amazon will face increased competition as new technology vendors enter the market for smart speaker.
The smart speaker market in the US will reach 38.4 million units. China’s smart speaker market will be 4.4 million units.
“Smart speaker uptake has grown faster than any other consumer technology we’ve recently encountered, such as AR, VR or even wearables,” said Canalys Research Analyst Lucio Chen.
While 2017 has been a banner year for smart speakers in terms of hardware sales, especially for Google and Amazon, smart speakers in 2018 will move beyond hardware, with strategic attempts to monetize the growing installed base in the US and beyond.
The US takes the majority share of the worldwide smart speaker market and will remain the largest market through 2020, based on Canalys forecasts.
High broadband penetration, a keen proclivity to adopt new technologies and the lowering price barriers of smart speakers has accelerated adoption in the US market.
“Consumer acceptance of the smart speaker has been positive overall, despite a few shortcomings,” said Canalys Analyst Vincent Thielke.
Technology vendors have begun offering upgrades to their latest models, and a key element driving this stickiness is the smart home partnerships. Alexa’s multiple smart home integrations, Google’s partnership with Nest and Apple’s HomeKit initiatives will continue to excite consumers of the smart speaker and fuel sales in 2018.
China will continue to elude the two smart speaker giants, Amazon and Google. The restrictions on their services will catalyze a healthy local market where vendors, such as Alibaba, JD.com and Xiaomi, have already launched smart speakers to test the waters.
The smart speaker market will see a huge boost in 2018 as hardware vendors, software developers, voice recognition providers and operators join the game just in time to capitalize on the growing consumer awareness of smart home and artificial intelligence.
“Traditional hardware vendors have been cautious at the beginning, but with deep-pocketed Alibaba ramping up investment in the category, and Xiaomi launching lower priced skews of its XiaoAI smart speaker, the market will be ignited in no time,” Lucio Chen said.