Sorry, Alexa: Siri still the most widespread AI assistant

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Sorry, Alexa: Siri still the most widespread AI assistant
Siri is found on a whole lot of devices.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Thanks to Amazon’s Echo devices, Alexa is probably the AI assistant most likely to come up in a conversation. But Siri is still the most popular virtual assistant of them all.

According to a new report by Futuresource Consulting, Siri currently leads the virtual assistant pack with a 35% global marketshare. Google Assistant follows behind with 9% of the marketshare, while Alexa makes up just 4% of AI assistants.

That’s because of how many Apple devices feature AI assistant Siri. It’s been included on every iPhone since 2011’s iPhone 4s. Siri features on devices including Macs, iPads, Apple Watch and the ultra popular AirPods. Interestingly, while HomePod is Apple’s Siri-powered smart speaker, it lags considerably behind Echo and other smart speaker devices in terms of unit sales.

Perhaps the biggest surprise on the list is Microsoft’s Cortana. Cortana makes up 22% of the global market share, due to its presence on Windows 10 PCs. That’s similar to the way that Bing is surprisingly successful as a search engine due to its status as a default search.

Siri: The widespread AI assistant

Overall, 1.1 billion devices shipping in 2019 included virtual assistant. Futuresource predicts that they will exceed 2.5 billion shipments in 2023.

One thing the report doesn’t do is to break down how widely used these smart assistants are. I have both an Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speaker, and use them both a lot more than I do Siri on my Apple devices. To me, how widely used they are is a more useful metric than how many devices they are found on.

Still, Siri’s install base dominance in this regards serves to underline just why Apple is as powerful as it is. When you’ve got software running as a default on millions of devices around the world as standard, that’s a pretty big advantage!