Google Home Is Gaining Major Ground Against Alexa

With over a year head start, Amazon’s Alexa-enabled Echo devices have enjoyed a favorable lead in the smart speaker market. With a decidedly larger user base, wider platform compatibility and the world’s largest online market to back it up, Alexa has given Google Home and the Assistant a lofty bar to reach for if it intends to compete.

Thanks in part to holiday sales and the deeply discounted Home Mini, Google may be on a path to catch up much quicker than anyone could have anticipated. Ben Schoon (@NexusBen) of 9to5Google reports that Google Home has now captured an estimated thirty-one(31) percent of the home automation market with the roughly forty(40) percent of that growth coming in the in the last quarter of 2017.

These estimates originated from CIRP (Consumer Intelligence Research Partners), a market analysis firm the specializing in research to the investment community. According to the report, Google Home’s sland Alexa’s install base grew to apx. 45 million by the end of 2017 in the U.S. alone. While this still leaves Amazon with 69% head-to-head, it reflects a significant increase in Google’s Assistant-enabled speakers and closes the gap between the two by a large margin.

Google may still have a lot of ground to gain but the explosive growth since the launch of the Google Home Mini and Home Max combined with Google’s massive presence at CES to feature the landslide of third-party devices is a good sign they intend to capture that segment in any way possible.

Google continues to partner with industry-leading companies to bring the Assistant to the forefront of the public eye and allows developers the ability to integrate the API with just about any product imaginable. Bringing these features into the connected home with ease and simplicity is a major part of the Assistant’s success.

In my opinion, the continued expansion of third-party products will undoubtedly bolster Google Home’s sales in the coming year allowing Google to pull aside Amazon in what will soon be a market in which these two will be the only major players. At the end of the day, it’s not about how many Google Home’s are sold. It’s all about the Assistant and Google being at the center of all the connected things and this is something they do very, very well.

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Source: CIRP via 9to5Google

Gabriel Brangers

Lover of all things coffee. Foodie for life. Passionate drummer, hobby guitar player, Web designer and proud Army Veteran. I have come to drink coffee and tell the world of all things Chrome. "Whatever you do, Carpe the heck out of that Diem" - Roman poet, Horace. Slightly paraphrased.

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  • i still dont get why anyone would want one of these surveillance devices in their home, they honestly dont even look useful to me. id certainly stay away from anything amazon, the are evil and even have a $600 million contract with the cia to spy on americans

    • @pennypotsticker:disqus It's hard to tell if you are being ironic, or need a tinfoil hat.

      I bought a GH when they first came out to play with the technology. I find it quite useful in my bedroom, where it is used exclusively for streaming content from Pandora. In some ways, I prefer to use the Android Google Home app to control it (and especially to see what's playing) rather than talk to the damned thing. I also set up a WiFi switch to control a bedside light, so that my wife can turn it on from upstairs using her GH Mini, rather than walk into a dark room after I have fallen asleep. Those are the alpha and omega for my interest in voice-activated devices. Judging by the millions sold, others feel differently.

  • Not surprising. We started with the Echo when it came out in late 2014 and now have several Google Homes. The two are often compared but really are very different in how you interact with them. The Echo requires rigid language or basically commands that you have to memorize versus the Google Home for most things you can say it however it pops up in your head.

    Me and my siblings gave my mom an Echo Christmas 2016 and it just collected dust. This year we gave her a Google Home. Then we also scanned her old photos into Google Photos and me and my siblings also share some of our photos to her Google Photos account.

    She loves to be able to call up whatever and uses the Google Home all the time where she just was never motivated enough to memorize the Echo commands and use it. The Google Home integrates with the iPhone a lot better than the Echo.

    BTW, weirdly her favorite thing is to look at old pet photos more than me and my siblings when we were kids :(.

  • I would like to have a Google Home mini and I pre-ordered a Pixel 2 (from UK) but since I live in Portugal I didn't even get the chance to pick one. Now I have several IKEA smartlights and hope it plays well with Google Home when I get one...

  • In case anyone with the right connections reads this... I've got a suggestion as to how Google could increase the number of Assistant users while also potentially decreasing the number of Alexa users...

    At the October event, along with the Pixel 3 phones and whatever else, Google should launch the Google Go Tablet line running the Go version of Android P. [a 7/8 inch Go Tab, a 9/10 inch Go Tab XL and maybe a 12/15 inch Go Tab XXL]

    This would allow Google to launch Android Go reference hardware, without corrupting their media push for their premium only phones. Their last tablet (which technically the first post-Nexus Pixel device) was before their big advertising push so the common man wouldn't know to expect premium only from Google's tablet line.

    Given the current feud between the companies, these could serve as Google's version of Amazon's Fire tablets. While flagship tablets haven't been selling well, Amazon seemingly has been selling enough Fire tablets to warrant a 2017 hardware refresh. If Google can match or beat the Fire tab's specs and build quality (which I have no doubt they could) while also maintaining a comparable price point then I'm sure they'd sell equally as well. Personally, I'd buy several replace the Fire tabs I use and the ones I've given as gifts during 2017 [assuming of course my bank account still has any money after getting a Pixel 3 phone & whatever other hardware Google launches].

    I don't know how often Amazon issues security patches (my Fire tab is protected against Blueborne at least). But I do know they still use Android 5.1.1 as a base for their OS which is heavily modified to encourage shopping at Amazon. Given comparable hardware profiles, it would be a no-brainer to opt for the tablets that come with the latest OS out of the box and are in line to not only be one of the first devices to get Android Q and R (at least) but also guaranteed monthly security (and performance) updates and have said OS be modified only to improve performance. Google's would also have access to the much better Play Store out of the box as well.

    The Assistant runs on tablets with Android 6 or higher, which includes Android 9 (P). If Google can keep them in impulse buy price range, and distribute and advertise them like the Google Home devices... That's another avenue for Google to get people into using the Google Assistant, one that potentially might also convert an Alexa user.

    • I'm probably wrong, but I thought the go apps were created for use in countries without access to a lot of internet bandwidth. Places that won't ever sell or use Assistant products.

      • Android Go is designed to improve performance on devices on the lower end of the specs spectrum - I believe 1GB or less is the cut-off. The 10inch 2017 Fire tab has 1.5GB of RAM, but I'd still consider it lower end.

        And actually, if you check Google's Android Go page, about half way down (give or take) they advertise there is even going to be a Go version of the Assistant.

        See: https://www.android.com/versions/oreo-8-0/go-edition/

  • I don't understand why everyone's obsessed with Google Assistant 'catching up' to Alexa via Google Home sales. Assistant is already in the pockets of ~83% of smartphone owners. Echo was an interesting solution to Amazon's footprint problem, but it's all Alexa has. Assistant doesn't have any footprint problem, and home is a small part of it's reach.

    • When you're at home... how often do you talk to your phone. Not often? Me either, probably because I have 3 G Mini's and a G Home around my house.

      • I used to talk to my watch fairly often, but with AW 2.0 assistant usually takes so long to load the screen times out. I do talk to my phone and my shield tv not infrequently, and would like to more, but neither supports always listening. If I'm picking up the remote or the phone anyway, it's often easier just to do whatever I wanted than tell GA to.

      • At home I am constantly using my Phone and my Nvidia Shield with Google Assistant. So does my brother. We BARELY search for anything on my Mac or his PC. We set reminders through our phones, search for shows on the Shield, set appointments on our phone and so on. It's become a habit. I started using assistant more when I felt ill and didn't have the strength to get the remote.

  • "According to the report, Google Home’s share grew to apx. 45 million by the end of 2017 in the U.S. alone."

    No, the CIRP report, according to 9to5Google, said, "that the market [for voice addressable intelligent assistants] grew by 18 million units in Q4 of 2017 to bring the total to nearly 45 million units in the US alone."

    "this still leaves Amazon with 31% head-to-head"

    I am not sure what that means but the CIRP report is clear. Currently, amongst the platforms that CIRP compared Google has 31% of the market in intelligent assistants in the United States and Amazon 69%.

    My impression is that, outside the United States, almost no one an no company takes Amazon's opportunistic insertion of itself into this market seriously. Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Baidu all have a solid reputation in AI research and voice recognition and analysis. Amazon, not so much. Maybe, Amazon can get there if they put the effort and finance in but, I think it is safe to say that, today, outside the United States (where the weight of Amazon in retail can't be underestimated) there is no clamouring of consumers for Amazon's AI offerings in the home.

  • If Google wants to catch up with Amazon/Alexa, they have to fix the GH Max/Mini/Chromecast crashing people's home networks with packet bursts. This is well-documented, starting late in 2017, and apparently still not fixed. People experiencing this problem are switching to Amazon, saying they will never buy another Google device.

    See:
    Google Home or Chromecast might be crashing your Wi-Fi
    https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-keep-google-home-chromecast-from-killing-your-wi-fi/

    Google Home Max kills my Wi-Fi network
    https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/googlehome/MmnsVnSxdQc/MJRW2OrPAgAJ

    Between killing the supervised users feature, Wi-Fi, and a troublesome rollout for Pixelbooks, January has not been a good month for Google.

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