The smart speaker market is still nascent, but new product introductions indicate how it may grow. The space is changing rapidly, with new players including Apple entering the market and leaders like Amazon iterating on existing products, making this an area to watch.
All of the recently launched products take their makers' hardware in new directions. Amazon’s latest devices retain the Alexa voice assistant and a speaker, but have additional capabilities beyond those of the original Echo and Echo Dot, while Apple put Siri in a new form factor.
The Echo Look includes a camera and is capable of giving the user style advice and suggestions based on their personal style.
The Echo Show includes both a camera and a touch screen that can be used for video chat and shopping.
The HomePod offers a high-quality speaker and a stationary hub for Apple’s Siri voice assistant, allowing it to play and suggest music, answer questions, and control smart home devices.
BI Intelligence's Tech Adoption Indicator uses exclusive panel data to take an early look at consumer perception of these recently announced products. We conducted surveys within about a week from the announcement of each device, and used the results to evaluate the market potential of the Echo Look, Echo Show, and HomePod based on consumer awareness, excitement, usefulness, and purchase intent.
Amazon's new Echo Show is the big winner — it has mass-market appeal and looks like it will take off. A large portion of respondents (28%), especially the critical self-identified early adopters (39%), plan to buy the device, showcasing its potential market. The combination of usefulness and excitement will drive consumers to buy the Echo Show.
Apple’s HomePod looks likely to find a place in the smart speaker market but won’t dominate its space like the iPhone or iPad did. While the device has high recognition (76%), that doesn’t translate into excitement (only 10% of respondents are very excited) or planned purchases (just 25% say they plan to buy the device).
The Echo Look seems like it will struggle to attract that same level of interest. The more niche device does not show a potential user base with the same enthusiasm or overall interest. Only 6% see the device as very useful, and it fails to resonate with critical first adopters, with just 7% saying they would buy it as soon as they can.