Signs of a shift?

With voice technology becoming commonplace, a new voice integration typically doesn’t make waves. However, last week Walmart announced that their voice ordering capability will be rolled out to Siri. This is exciting for a few reasons, the biggest being that this is one of the first major voice-focused partnerships for Apple’s assistant and one that could be a sign of what many hope will come for Siri— a brand and developer voice app marketplace for the native iOS assistant. With Google losing some momentum in the smart speaker space this past quarter, maybe the time is right for Siri (and even Homepod) to reassert themselves in the space in a new way.

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Siri Shopping

Following their announcement of “Walmart Voice Order” earlier this year, the grocery giant has announced a new partnership with Apple to create a Siri shortcut leveraging the service. According to Walmart, “Customers simply ask Siri to start adding items directly to their Walmart Online Grocery cart after they’ve paired their accounts.” The press release goes on to share that the service will learn over time and make use of customer profiles to provide personalized product selection (based on what a customer has bought in the past), allow customers to create carts over a few days and facilitate in-store pickup or home delivery. This is one of the first major brand integrations for Apple’s voice assistant and may be a sign of what’s to come. More on Walmart.com.

3rd Quarter Shifts

Canalys has released their latest Smart Speaker market report for Q3 of 2019 and several notable trends have emerged in the data. The Chinese market has grown rapidly with Alibaba, Baidu and Xiaomi all increasing their worldwide market share significantly from Q2. This growth has seemingly eaten into Google’s share which dropped from ~30% last quarter to 12% currently. Notably, all this change in market dynamics has not affected Amazon. Echo devices and Alexa actually increased their global share from 32% to 36% and increased device shipments from 6.3 MM to 10.4 MM. More importantly, the market report shows that 28.6 MM smart speakers were shipped this past quarter, indicating the category still has a lot of growth in it. More on 9to5Google.

Alexa, what’s my grade?

Coursera has launched a new Alexa skill which will function as a companion to students who are utilizing their educational platform. According to Voicebot AI, “Once the skill is installed and linked, students can ask Alexa questions about ongoing assignments test scores, grades, and other information about their progress in a class.” As Amazon continues to build up their children and education offerings, the Coursera skill supports a valuable assistive use case. The skill begins to show how young students can bring Alexa into their daily routines and use the medium to help manage their schoolwork and provide on-demand information about academic performance. More on Voicebot AI.

Stats Don’t Lie

36% – Amazon’s Global Smart Speaker Market Share (data via Canalys)

2x in 6 months – Growth of Registered Bixby Developers. (data via Samsung)

Chart of the Week

Voice Assistant Organizational Benefits Capgemini
(data via Capgemini)