Coronavirus Could Affect Smart Speaker Market

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The coronavirus could slow down production of smart speakers. Foxconn Technology Group, which manufactures smart speakers through the Belkin and Wemo brands, has halted production in China, while their facilities in Mexico and Vietnam are at full capacity. A statement from Foxconn maintained that they are following all recommend health practices from the federal Chinese government as well as local governments. The statement read,

” We are also working with the local governments to facilitate the necessary preparations for our employees to safely return to work. The operation schedules for our facilities in China follow the recommendations of the local governments, and we have not received any requests from our customers on the need to resume production earlier.”

Google Nest Mini Power Port

Aside from smart speakers, Foxconn also produces technology for:

  • Nokia: Android phones and accessories
  • SHARP: TVs, monitors, cell phones, air purifiers, kitchen and beauty appliances
  • Linksys: Wi-Fi routers, range extenders, USB adapters
  • PHYN: Smart water assistant, water and leak monitors

Foxconn also manufactures parts used in the Apple supply chain through Cocoro Life, which sells iPhones, iPads, Macs and related accessories. Aside from the technology industry, the coronavirus has also halted the manufacturing and selling of airline tickets, automobiles and products from Procter & Gamble whose brands include Tide, Pampers and bounty, among other household names.

Smart Speaker Ownership Increases in United States

Although the coronavirus will slow down production, smart speaker ownership rose by 13.7% in the United States from 2019 to 2020. This year, over 83 million people in the United States will own smart speakers, according to estimates from eMarketer. Echo devices will maintain their stronghold on the market with 69.7% of the market share, while Google’s smart speakers account for about a third of the market. As of now, it’s unclear exactly how much coronavirus will impact smart speaker ownership in the United States.

FAQs

What is the best smart speaker?

The best smart speaker of 2020 is the Amazon Echo Plus. With its simple setup and full compatibility with other smart home products, this device continues to set the gold standard for smart speakers. We love the Dolby technology built into this speaker, ensuring a crisp and resonant output for music, Alexa communication, and just about any other sound you could imagine. Speaking of other sounds, the Echo Plus also features an intercom mode, allowing you to send messages throughout your home to other Alexa enabled devices. This device also features customizable security controls, allowing you to turn off the microphones for privacy.

What can smart speakers do?

If you think of your home as human body, then a smart speaker is akin to the central nervous system, essential for controlling the rest of the body (or in this case, the other connected devices in your home). Through Wi-Fi, smart speakers can hear your voice commands and perform an astounding array of functions, whether that’s playing a song, messaging a friend, or ordering paper towels from Amazon. All of the devices listed here are operated primarily through voice control, ensuring that whatever you need is but a few syllables away.

Are smart speakers always listening?

Smart speakers are always listening for their wake word. However, most of them only record after the user says the wake word.

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza is a journalist living in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout her career, her work has spanned many intersections within the tech industry. At SquareFoot, a New York-based real estate technology company, she wrote about the ways in which technology has changed the real estate industry, as well as the challenges that business owners face when they want to invest in property. At Degreed.com, an education technology website, Aliza created digital content for lifelong learners, exploring the ways in which technology has democratized education. Additionally, she has written articles for The Huffington Post as well as her own content on Medium, the online publishing platform. Aliza’s love of journalism and research stems from the excellent Journalism program at Brandeis University. At Brandeis, Aliza interned as a research assistant at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit “news room without walls”. There, Aliza was paired with an investigative journalist and used academic databases to obtain data on everything from the suicide rates in Bhutan to local Boston court cases. Her last position was as an account executive at Yelp, educating business owners on the power of technology to increase revenue. Throughout, however, her heart remained with tech journalism, and she’s thrilled to be writing for Security Baron. When she’s not keeping afloat of the latest tech trends, Aliza likes to cook, read, and write. A former high school “Class Clown,” Aliza has completed two feature-length screenplays, a pilot, and countless comedic sketches. On her days off you can find her relaxing in Prospect Park, trying the latest flavors at Ample Hills Ice Cream, and spending time with friends and family.