Amazon’s Echo and its ever-expanding list of rival smart speakers have brought the consumer electronics industry the sort of growth it has not seen in years — but analysts predict the surge may be short lived.
The explosion in smart speaker sales that began just a couple of years ago will peak as soon as next year, the organisers of the Consumer Electronics Show said as the tech conference began in Las Vegas.
Smart speakers are seeing the kind of “hockey-stick” growth that the electronics market has not seen from a new class of product since tablet computers hit the mainstream eight years ago, far outpacing virtual reality headsets, smartwatches and drones.
“Pretty quickly, compatibility with these [digital] assistants has become table stakes,” said Steve Koenig, senior director of research at the Consumer Technology Association. “2017 was a huge year for smart speakers.”
Read more: Financial Times