Sonos claims Google and Amazon stole its smart speaker tech

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Sonos Move
Sonos was the first to make great smart speakers. Now everyone's copying.
Photo: Sonos

Sonos, the smart speaker company that (usually) plays nice with pretty much every other tech company, is fighting back against Google and Amazon for allegedly stealing some of its secret sauce.

Two lawsuits were filed by Sonos this week against Google that accuses the search engine giant of infringing on five of its patents. Sonos claims Amazon is guilty of the same thing but the company decided to only sue Google because it can’t take on two tech giants at once.

Apple still struggling to make a sound in Europe’s smart speaker market

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Apple debuts HomePod in India at its cheapest price yet
Google and Amazon continue to lead.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

There’s a new challenger to the smart speaker throne — and, no, it’s not Apple’s HomePod.

According to the latest data from IDC, in Europe Google has overtaken Amazon as the market leader in smart speakers. Google Home devices accounted for 45.1% of shipped smart speakers in the region in Q1. That beats Amazon’s 41.8%. Apple’s HomePod doesn’t even even get a mention.

China overtakes U.S. as world’s biggest smart speaker market

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Apple debuts HomePod in India at its cheapest price yet
Are you a smart speaker user?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

China has overtaken the U.S. as the world’s biggest smart speaker market. According to new figures from Canalys, the Chinese market grew nearly 500% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019.

Approximately 10.6 million units shipped in China over the quarter, compared to 5 million in the U.S. This means that China is now 51% of the global global smart speaker market. The U.S., on the other hand, comes in second place at just 24%.

Apple Music coming to Google Home devices [Updated]

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Save $30 on the Google Home smart speaker.
Coming soon to a Google speaker near you.
Photo: Google

Updated: Google  says this was the result of a bug, and it has “nothing to announce regarding updates to Google Home.”

 

Apple Music is on its way to Google Home devices. In the Google Home app for iOS devices, Apple Music is listed as a listening option. However, as of now, it can’t be linked with a Google Home device.

Apple’s streaming music service previously arrived on Amazon Echo devices in December. Between them, Google and Amazon make up the overwhelming majority of smart speakers.

Smart speaker market doubles in a year, but HomePod remains a bit player

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The HomePod -- a beautiful body with the brain of an idiot.
HomePod still lags behind its Google and Amazon rivals in sales.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

As the smart speaker market continues to pick up, Apple’s HomePod still lags behind devices from Amazon and Google. Both companies benefit from being earlier movers — and from offering products at a cheaper price point.

That’s the takeaway from a new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners that describes holiday trends for HomePod, Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Google Home tops Siri and HomePod in smart speaker test

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HomePod market share
It will be on sale “this summer.”
Photo: Apple

Apple may have been late to the smart speaker game but its HomePod is showing signs it could one day outperform them all.

But only if Apple gives Siri the power.

In Loup Ventures annual smart speaker comparisons, Google Assistant understood all 800 questions and answered nearly 88 percent of them correctly. In its first Loup Ventures test, the HomePod with Siri at the helm misunderstood just three questions and managed to answer correctly nearly 75 percent of its queries.

Echo sells better but HomePod sells smarter

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HomePod market share
It will be on sale “this summer.”
Photo: Apple

Amazon’s line up of Echo speakers accounts for 63 percent of all smart speakers in use, while Apple’s late-to-market offering, the HomePod, has just a 4 percent share of the market.

While the results of a quarterly consumer survey, published today in a report by Strategy Analytics, seem daunting for Apple, the numbers reflect only one side of the story.