Market analysts at Canalys have predicted that there will be at least 200 million smart speakers in the world by the end of this year. Smart speaker sales will come partly from the Chinese market, a market where Amazon and Google don’t sell any of their smart speakers.

The smart speaker market will grow globally by an estimated 85% from 114 million units in 2018, to 207 million units by the end of this year. China’s sales for smart speakers are expected to increase threefold, from 23 million last year to 60 million units at the end of 2019. Growth of this market will be spurred partially by Chinese-made smart speakers in their home turf, such as Alibaba’s Tmall Genie, Xiaomi’s Xiao Ai and Baidu’s DuerOS. Canalys presumes that Tmall will emerge as the market leader, followed by Xiao Ai, then capped off by DuerOS and many other smaller players.

It should be noted that Apple launched its own smart speaker in China, the Apple HomePod, but it’s not expected to gain a lion’s share of China’s smart speaker market. Alibaba’s Tmall is expected to corner 40% of the market, 25% for Xiao Ai and DuerOS, then 12% to be divided among the other players.

Meanwhile, the US is expected to be the leader in terms of smart speaker adoption. According to Canalys, the US smart speaker market is projected to grow by 46% and comprises 42% of the worldwide smart speaker market, with a little over 60 million units in the previous year, to 90 million units by year’s end.

What will affect future sales and growth for smart speakers is their digital assistant. Amazon’s Alexa remains the most popular one, but Google Assistant, Siri and an as-yet-unrevealed digital assistant by Facebook could change that in the coming years, and help decide which smart speaker dominates the US market.

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What do you think? Which smart speaker and which digital assistant do you think will come out on top by year’s end? Let us know in the comments!

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