Driven by price cuts and extensive marketing as well as steadily growing consumer awareness and acceptance, voice control front-end devices saw a bumper fourth quarter. Shipments of voice control front end devices, such as Amazon’s Echo range and Google’s Home devices, grew by 189% on the previous quarter, with 2017 seeing total shipments up 159% over 2016. While such strong shipment growth has been driven by dedicated devices, the impetus behind those fourth quarter sales and the developments on display at CES in early January, underpin that the smart home voice control market is being driven by more powerful competition than device form factors. Instead, it is the platforms behind these devices that are part of a long-term play to capture an increasingly valuable smart home data stream; one that provides not just detailed insights into the homes they are in but will also be the foundation for a new generation of valuable and integrated services.
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