Alexa and Google Assistant devices are selling nicely but new research from Parks Associates shows that 40% of people think it's 'important or 'very important' that new tech works with Alexa or Assistant.
That might sound a lot but that still means that most people, when buying smart home kit, don't mind too much whether or not it works with one of the two main voice ecosystems. That tells us that the smart home world is a big place, bigger than these two companies that have dominated it the past few years, and that Apple HomeKit still has time, and potential customers, to rise up to that level.
When it comes to Apple's chances, it's got a lot of work to do if we go off the Parks Associates data, though. In order of how many respondents said compatibility with each ecosystem was 'important' or 'very important', the rankings were as follows: Amazon Echo/Alexa at nearly 50%; Google Home/Assistant just behind in second; Samsung SmartThings in third then Works with Nest, and then rounding out the five, Apple HomeKit at around 25%.
Just because people are buying plenty of kit that isn't yet Alexa or Google Assistant compatible doesn't mean they're just buying standalone devices that don't talk to anything else. Interestingly, 74% of people said that it was important for smart home products to work with other products in the home.
If the trend continues, this could also be encouraging for independent home automation platforms such as IFTTT, Yonomi, Stringify (now owned by Comcast) and Home Assistant which don't lock you in to one big Silicon Valley smart home system.
"“When shopping for a smart home device, consumers prioritize device interoperability over specific brand ecosystems," said Patrice Samuels, senior research analyst at Parks Associates. "Amazon and Google products are very popular, so consumers naturally prioritize products that work with these devices."