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Amazon Echo Seen Losing Ground for Rival Smart Speakers in 2019



Amazon.com s (AMZN) tight grip on the market for smart speakers is beginning to loosen. A research firm predicts that the Amazon share in the market will fall below two-thirds in the United States in 2019, while Alphabet s (GOOGL) Google will give big gains.




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EMarketer predicted on Thursday that the Amazon Echo family of smart speakers with Alexa Voice Assistant will have 63.3% of the US user base in 2019. It is down from 66.6% this year, it said.

Meanwhile, No. 2 Google increased its share of the user base to 31% by 2019 from 29.5% this year. The alphabet sells Google home theater speakers with its Google Assistant voice-sponsored technology.

All other suppliers will combine for 12% of the user base next year, up from 8.3% in 2018, provided eMarketer. Other players on the market include Apple (AAPL) with HomePod, Sonos (SONO) with Sonos One and Facebook (FB) with its portal smart screen. 19659006] "Amazon has remained relevant by plugging Alexa into premium speakers such as Sonos, but even Sonos plans to bring Google Assistant to their devices next year, keeping the two companies neck and neck in the voice assistants' race," eMarketer analyst Jaimie Chung in a blog post.

Next year, 74.2 million people in the US will use smart speakers, up 15% in 2018, said eMarketer.

While smart speakers have grown in abilities, they use most of the basic functions. Listening to music and asking questions about weather, traffic and news are the most common applications, eMarketer said.

Check out Google's Video, Ya Filthy Animal

Smart speakers have been great promotional items this holiday season for Amazon and Google.

On Wednesday, Google sent a funny video in which actor Macaulay Culkin replays the role of Kevin McCallister from the 1990 Christmas Home Alone. In the video, called "Home Alone Again with Google Assistant," an adult uses Kevin Google Assistant to be productive, entertained, and confident while at home alone.

Also this week, Google Assistant did the highest for accuracy in a test of Loup Ventures voice assistants. The venture capital company published the results of its annual smart speaker's IQ test on Thursday.

Loup Ventures tested Google Assistant, Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri and Microsoft s (MSFT) Cortana using 800 spoken questions each.

Google Assistant was able to answer 88% of them correctly against Siri at 75%, Alexa at 73% and Cortana at 63%. Last year, Google Assistant was able to respond 81% correctly to Siri at 52%, Alexa at 64% and Cortana at 56%.

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