According to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, Amazon has managed to sell three times as many Echo devices as Google has done with the Google Home line.
Now, this is a nuanced situation, and even though getting outsold that drastically by a competitor is never a good thing, there are a few factors that can likely explain away the massive difference and put the speakers on more even ground, even though that might not help Google.
The biggest explanation for Amazon’s big lead is simply timing. The original Amazon Echo had a year’s head start on the Google Home, and the Echo Dot followed the original Echo very quickly. Considering how cheap it is, that’s bound to grow market share, and the Google Home Mini has only been on sale for about a month. If you give any company a head start like that (especially with a low-cost device) you’re going to see big market share leads.
So, sure, that market share lead may not be a perfectly accurate depiction of which is the “better” speaker, but that’s still not great news for Google. While Google Home speakers have moved 7 million units, you’re going to have a harder time selling a Google Home to someone that has multiple Echo speakers around their house. Ecosystem lock-in is a very, very real thing (just ask Apple) and it can keep people buying certain products even if there’s a compelling second option on the market. I’m sure there are a few people that overlap with both Alexa and Google Assistant, but that’s probably a pretty low percentage.
Either way you slice it, this market is new, growing rapidly, and very exciting. And hey, we’re getting $30 devices out of it this Christmas. As a consumer, this is definitely a good thing.