Sci-Tech

The democratization of the affiliated speakers continues

According to the latest study by Canalys – a company specializing in data analytics – the connected object market is set to explode. This trend is particularly noticeable in China, where Apple is still the only foreign company that has managed to secure a place in the market.

Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, HomePod mini, and connected speakers from various brands in general should continue their meteoric conquest of the markets. By 2021, the number of smart speakers worldwide is expected to reach 163 million, an increase of 21%.

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Graphic depicting the evolution of connected speakers around the world

Despite the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in 2020, initial forecasts point to positive growth. In China, the connected speaker market grew 16% last year. Which confirms its status as a leading market. This increase is generalized globally, but to a lesser extent, with an expected increase of 3%.

Good prospects for Apple in China

In October 2020, Apple is following in the footsteps of Google and Amazon with the HomePod mini by reducing the size of its case and its price. Selling at $ 99, the giant’s Apple-connected speaker has significant development prospects in China, aside from the fact that its artificial intelligence is less popular with consumers. “The HomePod mini competes for $ 99 with other new devices that are larger and whose assistants are considered smarter,” said Jason Low, research director at Canalys.

Although the price is lower compared to the previous model (around 200 euros), it remains high for the majority of Chinese: “The price of 99 US dollars is practically a no man’s land in China, but it is enough to attract Apple users” explains Cynthia Chen, research analyst at Canalys. Though confronting local gamers like Baidu promises to be difficult, the HomePod mini could help the company founded by Steve Jobs force its various tools onto the Chinese market. “Apple should take this opportunity to promote adoption of its music service and other home services,” said Cynthia Chen.

Forecasts predict 640 million connected loudspeakers in the world market by 2024. With 5G, connected objects benefit from an unprecedented speed that makes their use and thus their provision much easier. This last point is probably one of the most important issues: “It is important that all partners in the ecosystem closely monitor the performance of software vendors while at the same time having a flair for the discovery of new use cases as users change their habits with the current pandemic,” concludes Jason Low.

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