ABI Research: Apple, Google offerings pose serious competition to Alexa

In a competitive study of smart home voice control platforms, ABI Research finds that Alexa currently leads the market. This is due mostly to the market deployment footprint and scale it enjoys. However, Amazon faces well positioned and strengthening challenges to its dominance, especially in multi-language support, according to the research group.

ABI Research says Amazon is the current front-runner when it comes to smart home voice control device shipments and in the breadth of partnerships that bring the Alexa platform to a wide-range of additional smart home devices and applications. However, both Google and Apple are extending their mobile device voice control platforms into the smart home, and they both have the existing user base, knowledge base, and solid regional language support to push Amazon out of the ring. Supporting multiple languages is now becoming a key function and challengers Apple (with Siri), followed by Google are well poised to lead with innovations in language compatibility, adds the research group.

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"The smart home market is currently on the tip of a new wave of regionalization," says Jonathan Collins, research director at ABI Research. "So far, the smart home voice control market has been dominated by devices supported by platforms led by English only versions. Over the past 12 months, however, all three of the leading players have expanded support and investment in global multiple-language availability and have begun to expand into other regions outside of the U.S market."

Google has support for five languages in its Google Home line of smart home voice control, but the Google Assistant platform behind it already supports several languages. Even without a dedicated device, Apple's Siri platform has a maturity and installed base that pushes the platform into 36 countries with support for 21 languages — more than any other vendor.