More consumers use Siri as a digital assistant than Amazon’s Alexa, despite Alexa being the voice behind the top-selling line of smart speakers, the Echo.
Siri’s popularity is just one of the findings of a Voice report authored by Microsoft and Bing Advertising, which suggests the voice could soon replace touch to drive the activity of our digital lives.
Two big takeaways from the report: the smart speaker market gets hotter by the year and conversational AI will gain sophistication and “amplify human ability.”
Siri and Google Assistant, according to two surveys cited by the authors of the report, are tied as the most widely used digital assistants, mostly because there are more smartphones currently than smart speakers.
Siri, HomePod and the competition
Apple’s HomePod, however, has yet to capitalize on the growing smart speaker market. Nearly a quarter of all Americans own smart speakers and the report predicts that number will increase to 45 percent by the end of this year.
The HomePod grabbed less than 2 percent of the global market share last year. The HomePod runs around $300 while an Echo speaker can be had for under $50.
Apple has marketed the HomePod around its well-reviewed audio quality but has been conservative in unleashing the full potential of Siri on the HomePod.
The report was based on surveys that ran in the UK, India, Australia, and Canada from March to June of last year and one in the U.S. this past February, More than 7,000 participated in the online surveys.
Siri and Google each tied with 36 percent, while the Echo was third with 25 percent. Some 19 percent of there respondents said they used Microsoft’s Cortana.
“While voice technology and digital assistants are still in the early stages of adoption, they are on the cusp of crossing the chasm into mainstream adoption,” the report said. “Consumers are using voice search to shop, get directions, make reservations, book travel, etc.”
The growth is also aided by voice commands for the car and appliances in the smart home.
Respondents to both surveys overwhelmingly had privacy concerns and would hesitate using voice commands and a smart speaker that would divulge personal information.