Amazon Echo sales on Prime Day triple the total seen during last year's event
Amazon created the smart speaker category when it launched the Echo in 2014. Since then, other tech companies have matched a speaker and a virtual assistant to create their own version of the device. Amazon has not only created a huge winner with the Echo, its personal assistant named Alexa has branched out beyond the Echo and can be found on the HTC U11 handset in some markets. Amazon owns more than 75% of the smart speaker market, and holds a huge lead over number two Google. The Google Home has a roughly 28% slice of the smart speaker pie.
Other companies soon to be offering the product include Microsoft whose Harman Kardon Invoke will feature Cortana. This December, Apple will launch the Apple HomePod which will combine a premium speaker with Siri. The HomePod will integrate with Apple Music in order to stream users' play lists. Apple considers the product to be a premium home speaker for music lovers. Still, the smart speakers do more than just play tunes. They can turn on and off smart appliances, announce the latest weather forecasts, news headlines, stock prices and sports scores.
Another feature found on the Echo devices allows users to ask for an audio playback of the latest deals from Amazon for Prime Day.