The smart speaker market looks a little less lopsided now, according to research firm CIRP, which found that Google Home is catching up to the Amazon Echo. From a survey of 500 U.S. users, CIRP estimates that Amazon has sold 31 million Echo speakers, while Google has sold 14 million Home speakers. That comes out to 69% for Amazon and 31% for Google, compared to 76% for Amazon and 24% for Google in September.
The boost for Google was aided by the $50 Home Mini, an answer to Amazon’s low-end Echo Dot that arrived in the fall. It sold at deep discounts throughout the holiday season, and helped propel Google to 40% of sales last quarter. Keep in mind, though, that CIRP isn’t counting third-party devices with voice integration, where Amazon has a head start in getting partners like Ecobee and Sonos on board. And with Apple about to enter the fray with HomePod, declaring a winner in smart speakers is about to get a lot more complicated.JN