As CES opens, Amazon, Google tout digital assistant stats that highlight respective market strengths


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Following Thanksgiving weekend, Amazon said that the Echo Dot was the top-selling product on Amazon globally. Last week, the company informally disclosed that “more than 100 million” Alexa devices have been sold to date. That would suggest Amazon sold a whopping 50 million devices between late summer and the end of the year.

That number may also include a small fraction of partner devices with Alexa installed. However the overwhelming majority are hardware devices from Amazon’s own Echo lineup.

Google Assistant’s reach 10X that of Alexa. For its part, Google said in a pre-CES press release, “By the end of this month, we expect the Google Assistant to be available on one billion devices, up from 500 million last May.” Last February, Google said that the Assistant was on 400 million devices globally; Apple shortly thereafter reported Siri had 500 million active users around the world.

While Google has users all over the world, Alexa has a disproportionate number in North America, although international distribution is growing. According to analyst firm Canalys in November, Amazon now owns roughly 75 percent of the global smart speaker market, while Google has almost 25 percent. The top three global markets are the U.S., China and the UK.

Assistants in your shower and toilet. CES this week will see an explosion of smart-home devices and appliances with virtual assistants built in. From smart slow cookers and refrigerators to smart toilets and showers, Alexa and Google Assistant are being incorporated into all manner of fixtures and appliances for the home.

While the consumer response to individual Assistant-enabled products remains to be seen, there’s no question that the smart home has finally taken off. It’s also clear that brands are using Google Assistant and Alexa integration to market their products. However, neither platform has emerged yet as a true marketing channel

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