Press Release

STAMFORD, Conn., October 3, 2016 View All Press Releases

Gartner Says Worldwide Spending on VPA-Enabled Wireless Speakers Will Top $2 Billion by 2020

By 2020, 25 Percent of Households Using a VPA Speaker Will Have Two or More Devices

End-user spending for the worldwide virtual personal assistant (VPA)-enabled wireless speaker market will reach $2.1 billion by 2020, up from $360 million in 2015, according to Gartner, Inc. By 2020, 3.3 percent of global households are forecast to have adopted a VPA-enabled wireless speaker.

"Last year, the VPA speaker market essentially consisted of end-user spending focused entirely on Amazon Echo, a wireless speaker with an array of embedded microphones to capture and respond to users' far-field voice commands for Amazon's VPA — Alexa. Later, Amazon introduced the Tap and Echo Dot," said Werner Goertz, research director at Gartner. "By 2020, competitors' products and third-party implementations of leading VPAs (Google Assistant, Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana) will likely have ramped up."

VPA speakers, especially those that are wall-powered, allow for multiple devices to be owned by a household and installed in a home. The value of the device is derived from the ease of use and the natural, intuitive interaction model. If this value is recognized by all household members, it will drive the desire to have terminal access throughout the entire house, not just in one room.

"A significant number of households could therefore have more than one unit, or even one per room," said Mr. Goertz. "With smaller form factors, price erosion over the years and potential subsidization models, we expect that 75 percent of households with VPAs will have one, 20 percent will have two, and five percent will have three or more devices by 2020."

Today's VPAs are limited in vocabulary and contextualization, but they will improve in the future. While speech-to-text conversion has matured since the early days of voice recognition, it is the semantic interpretation of the spoken word, the contextualization of the vocal expression and the rendering of a meaningful response that still require optimization.

Gartner expects that by 2020, a natural-language interaction could be delivered that satisfies users and creates scenarios with significantly improved value. Consequently, adoption of VPA interaction, especially in commercial applications, will occur and drive unit sales for VPA speakers.

"The widespread adoption and proliferation of VPA speakers could result in a significant number of online shopping orders in the home being initiated from a VPA speaker, rather than a laptop or mobile device," said Mr. Goertz. "Vendors that are able to create an intimate, familiar relationship with the user will be able to contextualize ordering to the extent that preferred products will be proposed, and processing details will already be captured. As a result, the user's propensity to purchase products and services using VPA systems should increase, transactional friction could be reduced and the overall user experience would be improved."

Gartner clients can read more in the report: "Forecast Snapshot: VPA-Enabled Wireless Speakers, Worldwide, 2016."

Gartner analysts will explore new digital platforms during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2016, the world's most important gathering of CIOs and other senior IT executives. Follow news and updates on Twitter using #GartnerSYM.

Dates and locations for Gartner Symposium/ITxpo events include:

October 5-7, Tokyo, Japan

October 16-20, Orlando, Florida

October 24-27, Sao Paulo, Brazil

October 24-27, Gold Coast, Australia

November 6-10, Barcelona, Spain

November 15-18, Goa, India

February 28-March 2, Dubai, UAE

Contacts
About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior information technology (IT) leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to supply chain professionals, digital marketing professionals and technology investors, Gartner is the valuable partner to clients in more than 10,000 distinct enterprises. Gartner works with clients to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual roles. Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has almost 9,000 associates, including 1,900 research analysts and consultants, operating in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.