Smart speakers are the best-selling consumer gadget because people keep giving them as gifts

Amazon and Google played their cards right this holiday season.

(7 January 2018) Following blockbuster holiday sales, it’s official: Smart speakers are the new best-selling consumer gadget writes Christina Bonnington. According to data from independent technology analysis company Canalys, nearly 35 million smart speakers shipped in 2017. That number is expected to top 56 million this year.

“2018 will be the defining year for smart speaker adoption,” said Canalys research analyst Lucio Chen. “Smart speaker uptake has grown faster than any other consumer technology we’ve recently encountered, such as AR, VR, or even wearables.”

The U.S leads in sales, with growing adoption in Western Europe, too. Smart speakers, the Amazon Echo in particular, pose an attractive proposition. The voice-first device works with both iOS and Android smartphones and connects with a variety of other smart home devices. You can use it for basic queries, like the weather, news, or sports stats; use it as a streaming media player; or use it to control other connected devices around the home.

Slate.com has the full story by Christina Bonnington.