The fast-paced world that we inhabit has created a unique space for virtual assistants in our lives, as syncing of these assistants with smart home products makes daily tasks easier and faster. By leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), virtual assistants are proliferating into every aspect of our lives.
Per the data from Research and Markets, the global market for intelligent virtual assistant is expected to grow at a CAGR of 32% between 2018 and 2023 and to go beyond $9 billion by 2023.
The tech companies like Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) , Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google, Apple (AAPL - Free Report) and Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) view this burgeoning need as a market that holds immense potential.
However, the immense growth prospect is alluring enough to attract other potential companies to enter it and challenge the incumbents.
Reportedly, multinational conglomerate, Samsung is now gearing up to introduce software developer kit (“SDK”) and application programming interface (“API”) for its virtual voice assistant, Bixby.
Both SDK and API will allow the third-party developers to make Bixby oriented applications and integrate Bixby with other applications as well. This is likely to boost the user base of Bixby which will help the company in gaining traction in the voice assistant market.
We believe the latest move of Samsung is likely to disrupt this particular market and poses a significant threat to the existing players in the space.
Amazon-Google Dominance Under Threat
Amazon and Google are currently dominating the virtual assistant market driven by their improving AI skills and machine learning (ML) techniques.
Notably, Amazon’s Alexa Skills store now offers more than 45K skills created by third-party developers and has also recently introduced new ML learning tools for developers to make Alexa skills even more engaging and discoverable.
Currently, Amazon sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Further, Google’s Assistant SDK for devices is also helping the third parties to integrate its voice assistant with various devices and smart cars.
Moreover, integration of Alexa and Google Assistant with smart home speakers is aiding their market shares. Per a report from Juniper Research, both the voice assistants are playing a significant role in the smart homes market which is projected to possess 275 million voice assistant devices.
All these factors are helping both Amazon and Google to gain further momentum in this particular market. According to latest data from Statista, the market shares of Alexa and Google Assistant came in 62% and 25%, respectively in 2017. Meanwhile, the rest of the voice assistants accounted for 13% of the market together.
However, Samsung’s plans to release Bixby kit are likely to enhance efficiency to its software and services segment. Moreover, its strong efforts to implement open ecosystem technology in its virtual assistant will further aid market share.
Moreover, the market share of these other assistants are expected to rise and projected to reach 23% in 2020, while Alexa’s share is expected to decline to 34%.
Consequently, Samsung’s Bixby initiatives might put Amazon and Google’s dominance in danger.
Impact on Other Players
Apple’s virtual assistant Siri has been gaining momentum of late, thanks to its accessibility across its line of laptops, desktops, phones, tablets, smartwatches and recently launched Home Pod.
Further, Siri has now been integrated in the high-end home speakers of Sonos which only featured Alexa and Google Assistant till now. Reportedly, Siri leads the pack in the mobile voice assistant market; in spite of the fact that Android has a much larger share compared to iPhone.
However, Samsung, which holds a dominant position in the smartphone market, has already gained competitive edge against Apple by introducing Bixby in its smartphones. Recently, it unveiled Bixby 2.0, the latest version of its voice assistant with the launch of Note 9.
Moreover, Samsung’s Galaxy Home smart speaker which was launched last month also features Bixby skills, and this is likely to pose tough competition to Apple.
Also, Microsoft’s Cortana which is available on Windows 10 desktops and mobile phones, Windows Phone 8.1, Invoke smart speaker, Microsoft Bands, Xbox One, is also likely to face severe competitive pressure from Samsung’s drive in making Bixby accessible in various apps and devices.
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