"Honor YOYO AI smart speaker launched in China - Resetting the smart speaker space"
Honor, the sub-brand of Chinese smartphone maker Huawei, on 26th December 2018 launched the Honor YOYO smart speaker. According to the news source, the company launched this speaker in the Chinese market at 199 RMB which amounts to approx. USD 29 currently. This speaker was launched along with its latest flagship smartphone, the Honor V20. The company also plans to sell it on Huawei’s dedicated platforms such as Vmall, Jingdong, and Tmall from 27th December 2018.
The company is said to have conducted an impressive background analysis before developing this product. Its aesthetics and features have a minimalist outlook with a flat round design of a 10cm diameter and 4.5cm height. The interesting thing here is that the device looks like the Google Home Mini and the third-generation Amazon Echo Dot but does not have the cloth finish. Interesting features such as a circular breathing light along with a new feature to the speaker where users can use it to take or even make calls through Wi-Fi are also available. Users can also use the speaker to call smartwatch devices of their family members. Last but not least, the company has also added its Histen algorithm to provide users with “professional-grade sound quality.”
Viewpoint shared by industry experts at MarketsandMarkets™:
With this launch, it is likely that Huawei is planning to enter the smart speaker market along with the connected smart home segment. This move is likely to serve as a stepping stone for the company to compete with giants such as Xiaomi, Google, Apple, and Amazon and make use of the home ground benefit to gain a competitive market share. This product is the first device from the company that could be the center-stage for an eventual Honor smart home ecosystem.
MarketsandMarkets™ projects that the smart home market will reach USD 151.4 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 12.02% during the forecast period, of which the smart speaker segment is expected to have the highest CAGR of 27.28%. The growth of smart speakers is primarily driven by the increasing number of smart homes, the rising disposable income, the growing trend of personalization, and the rapid proliferation of multifunctional devices. The increasing focus of companies on enhancing customer experience and consumer preference for technologically advanced products over traditional products are expected to offer opportunities to players in the smart speaker space.
How will the smart speaker market progress geographically?
Consumers in North American countries such as the US and Canada are receptive to products enabled with advanced technologies. The penetration of smart speakers, especially in the US is high owing to the presence of early adopters and key smart speaker providers. The willingness of customers to accept and use new technologies has also encouraged manufacturers in the region to develop new and advanced products. Key players such as Amazon, Google, Apple, and Bose offering smart speakers are based in the US; hence, most products are first launched and shipped in the region.
How will the smart home market progress geographically?
North America is expected to continue to command the smart home market, accounting for the largest share in the coming years, especially due to the presence of key players in this region. Another factor for this dominant share can be the high demand for advanced security solutions and the inclination of consumers toward the integration of smart devices such as tablets and smartphones, with security and access control devices, such as smart locks and doorbells.
On the other hand, Asia Pacific (APAC) is expected to witness the highest growth rate in the smart home market from 2018 to 2024 owing to the increasing adoption of security systems, especially in emerging economies of this region, combined with the growing number of manufacturing bases, as well as rising demand for connected security devices. Further, a large population base, high focus on R&D activities, and rapid urbanization in APAC are the other major factors that will propel the growth of the smart home market in the near future.
Major companies and strategies implemented:
In Smart Speaker Segment:
Some of the leading players in this smart speaker segment of smart homes are Amazon.com, Inc (Amazon) (US), Harman International (US), Apple Inc. (Apple) (US), Sonos (US), Alphabet Inc (Alphabet) (US), Bose Corporation (Bose) (US), Sony Corporation (Sony) (Japan), Onkyo Corporation (Onkyo) (Japan), Panasonic Corporation (Panasonic) (Japan), Alibaba Group (Alibaba) (China), Pioneer Corporation (Pioneer) (Japan), Altec Lansing (US), Lenovo Group Ltd. (Lenovo) (US), Xiaomi Inc. (Xiaomi) (China), and SK Telecom Co., Ltd. (SK Telecom) (South Korea).
New product development and launch was the key strategy adopted by players to achieve growth in the smart speaker segment between 2015 and 2018. Key players and new entrants have also adopted this strategy because of the first-mover advantage that this market offers. Amazon’s AI-powered voice assistant, Alexa, is currently dominating the smart speaker segment of smart homes.
Companies are also focusing on partnerships, agreements, and collaborations to embrace market trends. Companies offering smart speakers have collaborated/partnered with companies that offer IVA platform to support voice assistance and enhance their products. Some players are also involved in expansions to gain a larger share in the particular market.
Overall Smart Home Market:
In 2018, the smart home market was dominated by Johnson Controls International (Ireland), United Technologies Corporation (US), Schneider Electric (France), Honeywell International, Inc. (US), and Siemens AG (Germany). A few of the major strategies adopted by these players to compete in the smart home market include product launches & development, partnerships, and mergers & acquisitions.
Other players operating in the smart home market are Amazon, Inc. (US), Apple Inc. (US), Google (US), ADT (US), Robert Bosch Gmbh (Germany), ASSA ABLOY (Sweden), ABB Ltd. (Switzerland), Ingersoll-Rand PLC (Ireland), ABB (Switzerland), Legrand S.A. (France), GE (US), Comcast Corp. (US), Hubbell Inc. (US), Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (South Korea), LG Electronics (South Korea), Sony (Japan), Control4 Corp. (US), Lutron Electronics Co. Inc. (US), Vivint (US), and Axis Communication AB (Sweden), among others. These players have adopted product developments & launches, mergers & acquisitions, and partnerships & collaborations to grow in the smart home market.