Report: Amazon steals Sonos’ crown to become leading wi-fi based wireless speaker brand in 2016

New voice-first Wi-Fi speakers from Amazon and Google will expand overall wireless speaker market says Strategy Analytics

Strategy Analytics latestGlobal Wi-Fi Speaker Forecast 2014-2022reports that global shipments of Wi-Fi based wireless speakers grew by 62% in 2016 to 14 million units with Amazon accounting for 77% of the increase in volume demand from the previous year. The company estimates that Amazon shipped over 5 million Echo speakers in 2016 compared to just over 4 million from second placed Sonos.

“Amazon has hit upon a winning formula with its Alexa-powered series of Echo speakers and its rapid success has clearly sent shock waves through the industry” says David Watkins, Director within the Intelligent Home Group at Strategy Analytics. “However, we believe that demand for Amazon’s own brand devices is having largely an additive effect on the overall wireless speaker market particularly when you consider that the popular Echo Dot is often paired via Bluetooth to a better quality speaker.”

“Sonos has long been synonymous with connected home audio and as recently as 2014 it accounted for 50% of the small but growing Wi-Fi speaker market” continues Watkins. “Although Sonos is losing share as new players enter the Wi-Fi speaker space, its dominant position at the high-end of the market remains untouched. Apple’s upcoming HomePod speaker will pose more of a direct challenge to Sonos given the HomePod’s high price point and Apple’s decision to focus its marketing efforts on the speaker’s sound quality and music streaming capabilities rather than its ability to be controlled via Siri.”

Strategy Analytics counts voice activated Intelligent Home Speakers or Smart Speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home as a subset of the wider Wi-Fi based wireless speaker market. Intelligent Home Speakers are expected to make up nearly 90% of all Wi-Fi speakers by 2022 up from 42% in 2016.

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