Amazon is the global leader in WiFi powered speaker market, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics. The report states that Amazon has been able to push sales of its WiFi-enabled speakers by adding more affordable versions of Echo to its portfolio. Amazon has been able to overtake Sonos in WiFi speaker shipments, which has been a market leader since 2014.
The WiFi speaker market is about to explode this year with Apple joining the party in December. Apple had revealed its upcoming HomePod speaker at its annual developer conference WWDC earlier this month. Apple’s HomePod will be at the top end of the market while Amazon continues to push its Echo speakers which include Alexa, the company’s smart assistant.
During 2016, Amazon shipped around 5 million units of its Alexa based speakers which accounted for 77% of the increased volume, compared to 4 million units for Sonos. Sonos has been at the center of the connected home audio market since 2014, but it is currently experiencing massive competition from the likes of Amazon, Apple, Bose, and even Google.
By the end of this year when Apple’s HomePod goes on sale in select markets, the connected audio market is going to further expand and eat into Sonos’ market share. Even Amazon is likely to feel the heat given how markets typically react to new Apple products.
According to the report by Strategy Analytics, Apple’s HomePod is likely to compete with high-end connected home audio equipment from Sonos rather than Amazon. That, and the fact that Apple’s pitching the HomePod as a premium speaker with Siri inbuilt rather than a smart assistant with a speaker. There’s a huge difference in the two.