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Smart displays seeing increased demand as users convert from speakers

Users of smart speakers, like Amazon’s Echo or Google’s Nest ranges, are increasingly switching to smart displays.

According to Strategy Analytics, the share of all smart speaker sales incorporating a display was 26% in Q3 2020, compared to 22% a year earlier. Smart displays sales in Q3 rose year-on-year by 21% to 9.5 million units, while sales of basic smart speakers (without a display) fell by 3% over the same period. This contributed to an overall increase of 2.6% growth in all smart speaker sales year-over-year.

Amazon is unsurprisingly a market leader, with its Echo Show 5 device being a top-seller, while Chinese tech company Baidu also performed well with its Baidu Xiaodu Zaijia 1c.

The growth of smart display sales is unsurprising due to a combination of factors. First is their accessibility and cost, with Amazon’s cheapest smart display now costing less than £100. Also contributing to growth is a growing range of smart display apps and services available to users.

Despite growing competition from the likes of Google and Apple, Amazon maintained pole position, with a 28.8% share of global shipments in Q3 2020. The company’s sales did fall slightly compared to the year prior, while all of Amazon’s main rivals increased sales and market sales – except for Xiaomi which had a poor quarter.

The market was heavily impacted by the initial wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Q1, but has steadily recovered since then. The report expects Q4 to be a strong period following new launches from Amazon, Google and Apple, along with continued global economic recovery.

David Watkins, director of smart speakers and screens at Strategy Analytics, said:  “Like many sectors, smart speakers have had a difficult year for well-rehearsed reasons. But the shoots of recovery are beginning to show, and vendor commitment is evident from the many new products and improved technologies now being introduced. Barring any further major economic disruption, we expect 2021 to be marked by further healthy growth in the smart speaker business.”