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Smart speakers predicted to overtake wearables in US market this year

Tech research firm eMarketer is predicting dramatic growth in the US smart speaker market, anticipating that it will overtake wearables like smart watches at some point this year …

Business Insider has seen the report.

According to eMarketer’s latest forecast, the number of US smart speaker users will rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 47.9% between 2016 and 2020, from 16 million to 76.5 million.

eMarketer’s new data shows stronger-than-expected adoption of the device. Uptake has been so strong that the number of adult smart speaker users will surpass that of wearable users for the first time this year.

Smart speakers are still boys’ toys for the most part, an affluent, older, millenial male the typical user. But use by women is growing.

The firm still places the HomePod into the ‘Other’ category for now, noting that Amazon dominates the market, Echo devices accounting for two-thirds of all US sales. Google Home takes home 29.5%, while Apple is within the 8.3% left for other brands.

Apple is not, of course, intending its $349 speaker to compete with the likes of Amazon’s $50 Dot (currently available for less). The Apple Watch is, however, dominating the wearables market.

The HomePod finally gained stereo pairing and multi-room support in iOS 11.4.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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