KT Group affiliate Nasmedia said on Dec. 23 that 40% of South Korean households are expected to have an AI speaker next year. Last year, about one million households in Korea had an AI speaker. The figure rose to about three million this year and is expected to reach eight million in 2019.
“Product diversification and functional upgrade will accelerate the popularization of the device,” Nasmedia explained, adding, “Competition for market dominance is heating up after Google Home entered the domestic AI speaker market, which was previously led by mobile carriers and Internet service providers.”
The first AI speaker in the market is SK Telecom’s Nugu, which was released in September 2016. KT’s Giga Genie, Naver’s Wave and Kakao’s Kakao Mini have followed it since then. They are currently providing wired and wireless communications, music streaming services, and services. Google Home and Google Home Mini, which made their debut in September this year, are gaining popularity, too.
Nasmedia predicted that competition will heat up especially in content for kids and voice-based shopping. According to management consulting company OC&C Strategy Consultants, the global voice shopping market is expected to grow from US$2 billion to US$40 billion from this year to 2022.