“There are now nearly 50 million smart speaker users in the U.S.,” Evan Niu writes for The Motley Fool. “Voicebot has partnered with PullString and RAIN Agency to release a new report on the growing smart speaker market and related audience, detailing findings based on a national survey of 1,057 U.S. adult consumers. The report points out that smart speakers were the ‘number one gift during the 2017 holiday season,’ with 16% of respondents saying they either gave or received one as a present.”

“Approximately 20% of U.S. adults now have access to a smart speaker, which translates into 47.3 million U.S. users,” Niu writes. “Note that there’s a distinction between smart speaker owners and users. Unlike mobile devices, smart speakers are stationary and can be accessed and used by anyone in the household, so some of the users the study refers to may be users that are not the primary owner.”

“On average, households contain 1.8 smart speakers, as consumers are increasingly starting to place smart speakers throughout the home in different rooms. About two-thirds of households only have a single smart speaker, 85% of households have one or two, and 15% of households have three or more,” Niu writes. “A little over 2% of households have five to 10 devices, and 1.7% of households just can’t get enough and have more than 10 devices.”

MacDailyNews Note: Voicebot’s smart speaker market share report for 2017 has Amazon at 71.9%, Google with 18.4%, and “Other” at 9.7%.

“Within ‘Other,’ Sonos was the leader, thanks in part to integrating Alexa in its products like the new Sonos One. That means Alexa’s overall position is even stronger than just looking at Amazon-branded devices,” Niu writes. “Better late than never, Apple just officially jumped into the market last month with its (delayed) launch of the $350 HomePod.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple missing Christmas 2017 was a colossal screwup, but there is obviously much headroom left in the smart speaker market. Unfortunately, those tens of millions lost in Christmas 2017 will much more difficult for Apple to capture than if they had a product to ship.

It’s no wonder that Amazon’s Alexa is laughing spontaneously.

Missing one Christmas might not seem like a lot, but every user lost to another ecosystem is much, much more difficult to convert into a customer when you finally get your ass in gear and ship.

And, under the tree this year, there will be millions upon millions getting Amazon Echo and Google Home products and into their ecosystems*, not Apple’s.

*And other services, like Spotify instead of Apple Music, for one prominent example.

Apple really screwed the pooch on this one.

Real artists ship. – Steve JobsMacDailyNews, November 20, 2017

This wouldn’t have happened this way under Steve Jobs.

The HomePod’s internal code name ought to be “Clusterfsck,” but that’s already been taken by the Mac Pro.

Steve Jobs could see the whole picture and into the future. He would inherently know how to use Siri to tie together Wi-Fi connectivity, home automation, Bluetooth, Apple TV, sound reproduction, Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, etc. and he’d direct his staff to work towards the goal(s) he defined. When you lose your visionary CEO and replace him with a caretaker CEO, this is the type of aimless, late, bureaucratic dithering that ensues.MacDailyNews, November 21, 2017

Luckily for Tim Cook, Steve Jobs left him a perpetual profit machine that can absorb pretty much any lackadaisical fsckatude that can be thrown into the spokes.

We can almost see the smiles of the Amazon Echo and Google Home execs from here. — MacDailyNews, November 17, 2017

There could be a psychological component to this that leads people use Alexa over Siri precisely because they know the Echo is there (it’s a physical object), but forget about Siri being everywhere, even on their wrists (because Siri is embedded inside devices that are “for other things” in the user’s mind (telling time, watching TV, computing, phone calls, etc.) and therefore “hidden” to the user. Hence, Siri gets forgotten and goes unused while people use Alexa…

Again: We believe people use Alexa because Amazon Echo is a physical manifestation of “her,” while forgetting about Siri even though she’s on their wrists at all times and/or in their iPhones and iPads because Siri is hidden inside objects whose primary function is something other than “personal assistant” in people’s minds (watch, TV, phone or tablet, as opposed to “Siri.”) Alexa is present thanks to the Amazon Echo. Siri is absent because she has no such counterpart; no physical manifestation.

Siri is a ghost. Alexa is that cool, fun, glowing tube right there on the counter.

Apple would do well to not discount the psychology behind why people use certain features, even though cold, hard logic tells them it’s a redundant and unnecessary product.

An “Apple Echo” device would sell in the millions of units per quarter and boost Siri usage immensely.MacDailyNews, June 15, 2016

Something along the lines of Amazon Echo is what Apple should have done if run by competent, forward-thinking management. When Apple finally does do their version of Amazon Echo (and they will get around to doing such a product eventually) they will rightly be called a follower. The company had all of the ingredients to make their own Echo before Amazon, except for the vision, it seems.MacDailyNews, March 29, 2016

SEE ALSO:
Apple reportedly to debut less expensive HomePod and MacBook Air this year – March 7, 2018
Tim Bajarin: Why Apple needs a ‘HomePod mini’ – March 6, 2018
Apple debuts new HomePod short film directed by Spike Jonze and starring FKA twigs – March 6, 2018
Apple HomePod hits 3 percent in U.S. market share – February 22, 2018
Here are the Siri commands you’ll use most with your HomePod – February 21, 2018
How to control your home with the HomePod – February 20, 2018
Jean-Louis Gassée: The trouble with Apple HomePod reviews – February 20, 2018
Steve Crandall: Apple’s HomePod is the next big step in home audio – February 13, 2018
Apple HomePod: The audiophile perspective plus 8 1/2 hours of measurements; HomePod is 100% an audiophile-grade speaker – February 12, 2018
Apple might have a ‘HomePod mini’ in the works – February 9, 2018
Apple’s HomePod is actually a steal at $349 – January 26, 2018
Digital Trends previews Apple’s HomePod: Impressive sound coupled with strong privacy – January 26, 2018
Hands on with Apple’s HomePod: Attractive, ultra-high-quality speaker, an excellent Siri ambassador – January 26, 2018
Apple’s HomePod, the iPod for your home – January 25, 2018
One hour with Apple’s new HomePod smart speaker – January 25, 2018
Apple’s iOS 11.3 beta delivers AirPlay 2 with multi-room playback – January 25, 2018
How Apple is positioning the HomePod and why – January 24, 2018
How I got talked into buying an Apple HomePod despite my reservations – January 24, 2018
Tim Cook says audio quality puts HomePod ahead of ‘squeaky-sounding’ competition – January 24, 2018
Apple’s HomePod arrives February 9th, available to order this Friday, January 26th – January 23, 2018
Apple delays HomePod release to early 2018 – November 17, 2017
Apple reveals HomePod smart home music speaker – June 5, 2017