Amazon saw a surprisingly large 51.7% year-over-year drop in US shipments of Alexa-powered smart speakers in 2021, according to a research firm.
Shipments, including third-party and Amazon-made devices, were just 21.9 million, down from 45.4 million units the year before, Omdia reported Wednesday. Total smart speaker shipments in the United States fell 29.2% in 2021 from the previous year.
The decline is likely related to the pandemic. In 2020, demand for smart speakers skyrocketed as many Americans studied and worked from home due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“2020 should be considered an extreme outlier in terms of smart speaker penetration,” said Omdia analyst Blake Kozak. “In fact, market size and growth from 2019 is comparable to 2021, suggesting that a market correction has taken place over the past year.”
Kozak pointed to a 2019 Omdia survey, which found that 20% of US respondents had a smart speaker at the time. This jumped to 36% in 2020, and although it increased again in 2021 to 44%, “the increase in adoption according to these surveys was lower in 2021 compared to previous years”, he said. -he declares.
The drop was steepest in Q4 2021, when Amazon Alexa smart speakers saw shipments drop 78.9% year-over-year to 4 million, despite the holiday shopping season. Adoption has also slowed in 2021 amid the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.
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Most Alexa speakers shipped in 2021 were Echo products from Amazon itself at 18.8 million, according to Omdia. And Amazon’s Alexa remained the leading smart speaker platform in the US by shipments with a 44.1% share. However, Google was not far behind at 40.8%. Apple has also made significant progress increasing its share of the smart speaker market to 15.1% from 7.1% in 2020.
In the future, smart displays may have the upper hand in the market. “There were around 14 million smart speakers with a screen shipped in 2021, compared to around 17.5 million in 2020,” Omdia said. But “the U.S. market for smart speakers with screens is almost twice as big as in 2019, when just 7 million speakers with screens were shipped.”
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