Looking for solder training standards, manuals, kits, and more?


What the Holidays Mean for Smart Speakers and OEMs

Posted on 22st November, 2018 by Leo Lambert

With the holiday season upon us, more and more consumers are heading to local retailers and e-commerce sites to shop for their friends, family, and of course—themselves. Where 2018 saw IoT enabled products grow increasingly mainstream in both wearable tech and other smart home applications, industry experts predict this trend to continue, if not intensify, as demand for the latest and greatest tech products peaks. While products like the Apple Watch and the latest smartphones are atop everyone’s wish list, smart speakers are poised to capture a significant share of the holiday buzz and experience increased demand as we enter 2019.

Current Landscape

Introduced in 2016 and popularized soon after, smart speakers and voice assistants like the Google Home and Amazon Echo have experienced significant adoption rates. Where consumers were once skeptical of machine communication, developments in AI have normalized the interaction entirely. According to current estimates, one out of every five adults owns a voice assistant smart speaker equating to 47.3 million owners. Another report suggests that nearly 71% of smart speaker owners use them at least every day to perform simple tasks like controlling multiple appliances or gathering everyday information and listening to music. Let this statistic better illustrate the rapid adoption rate of voice assistants and smart speakers: in the third quarter of 2017, the number of installed Amazon Echo devices was 20 million—by the end of the fourth quarter, that number would exceed 30.

Holiday Demand and Opportunity for OEMs

Going into the end of the year and holiday season, it’s no surprise the demand for voice assistants and smart speakers is projected to increase. According to a consumer survey, over 45% of consumers who own a smart speaker plan on buying another one whether for themselves or as a gift. Building off this statistic, it is estimated after this holiday season, 50% of all consumers will own a smart speaker like the Google Home or Amazon Echo further exemplifying the popularity of human to machine communication and shifting consumer preferences.

Holiday demands will no doubt cause spikes in production that transcend the holiday season well into 2019. As developments of AI and IoT grow more advanced, the demand for smart speakers will only continue to increase which presents an opportunity for OEMs to capture additional business and stay on the forefront of a product genre that will likely dominate the market for years to come.

To ensure your staff is capable of meeting heightened demands while avoiding production delays and reworks, contact the professionals at EPTAC and enroll your staff in one of our IPC certification courses. From hand soldering to PCB design, EPTAC has the experience to help your team train, work smarter and succeed.


For over 30 years, EPTAC has been a leading provider of solder training and IPC certification. We provide professionals with the tools and training they need to advance their careers and improve their businesses. With 14 locations across North America, our solutions and instructional staff provide easy access to knowledge that will enhance your business model and help you meet and exceed industry demands. For more information call 800.643.7822 or contact us.

Have a question about training or IPC certification?

EPTAC has the knowledge and expertise to help you train your staff, understand your process, and increase production. We are committed to answering your questions promptly, and we look forward to hearing from you.