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Smart-Speaker Ownership Approaching One in Four Americans

Average smart speaker user possesses two devices

The Infinite Dial begins its look at media technology with smartphones.

Twelve years after the introduction of the iPhone, the report says, smartphones have become ubiquitous, with 84% of the population owning one. That comes out to 237 million people. But the numbers also show the growth slowing for the past three years, suggesting the market may be reaching saturation, and might stabilize in the mid 80% range.

[Smart Speakers Lead Consumer Trends in Audio]

The research suggested that after four years of relative stability, tablet ownership, on the other hand, increased by 12% over the past year. While some of that growth came from the sale of Apple and Android tablets, the biggest gains were from Amazon Fire devices, which saw 23% growth. While some media analysts questioned whether there would be a market for tablets, Edison posits that these numbers say that tablets are here to stay.

[Voice-Controlled Hybrid Radio Demonstrated]

Smart speaker ownership, says the report, doubled between 2017 and 2018, and there is another big jump underway for 2019, with ownership increasing to 23% of those 12 plus, or 65 million users. Amazon Alexa holds on to a considerable lead in the American market with 16% of total sales. When it comes to number of smart speakers in a household, the mean number in 2018 was 1.7. In 2019, that has increased to 2. But, the research showed the number of users who purchased three or more speakers more than doubled from 11 to 24%. That suggests that when people go back to purchase a second device, they’re not stopping at 2.