Strategy Analytics latest Global Wi-Fi Speaker Forecast 2014-2022 reports that global shipments of Wi-Fi based wireless speakers grew by 62% in 2016 to 14 million units with Amazon accounting for 77% of the increase in volume demand from the previous year. The company estimates that Amazon shipped over five million Echo speakers in 2016 compared to just over four million from second placed Sonos.
"Sonos has long been synonymous with connected home audio and as recently as 2014 it accounted for 50% of the small but growing Wi-Fi speaker market," says David Watkins, director within the Intelligent Home Group at Strategy Analytics. "Although Sonos is losing share as new players enter the Wi-Fi speaker space, its dominant position at the high-end of the market remains untouched. Apple's upcoming HomePod speaker will pose more of a direct challenge to Sonos given the HomePod's high price point and Apple's decision to focus its marketing efforts on the speaker's sound quality and music streaming capabilities rather than its ability to be controlled via Siri."
Strategy Analytics counts voice activated intelligent home speakers or smart speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home as a subset of the wider Wi-Fi based wireless speaker market. Intelligent home speakers are expected to make up nearly 90% of all Wi-Fi speakers by 2022 up from 42% in 2016.
Apple’s HomePod is expected to go on sale in December and cost $349. The device is just under seven inches tall and looks like a piece of furniture. It will be available in both space gray and white, and also acts as a hub for HomeKit devices to provide remote access to home automation.