Are Voice-Controlled Personal Assistants the Future of Search? - eMarketer

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Are Voice-Controlled Personal Assistants the Future of Search?

US mobile phone search penetration continues to grow

March 16, 2016

Consumers are regularly turning to their mobile devices to search, and personal assistants like Siri can help them in the process. But according to research, few mobile phone owners actually use a voice-controlled personal assistant regularly.

Frequency with Which US Mobile Phone Owners Use a Voice-Controlled Personal Assistant on Their Device, June 2015 (% of respondents)

A June 2015 survey from 451 Research found that 13% of US mobile phone owners use a voice-controlled personal assistant on their device daily. Some 14% use it weekly and 10% of respondents said they have used a voice-controlled personal assistant monthly, adding up to 37% of mobile phone owners who regularly use a personal digital assistant.

Usage of these personal assistants—which are not offered only by Apple, but by other companies like Google—may be low because some mobile phone owners just don’t have the option. In fact, a third of respondents said so.

But lacking a smart enough phone is not the only issue: 17% of mobile phone owners said they do have the option, but have just never tried it.

US Mobile Phone Search Users and Penetration, 2014-2020

eMarketer estimates that in 2016 there will be 177.8 million mobile phone search users in the US. At the end of the forecasting period, there will be 221.0 million.

And as mobile devices become more sophisticated, and offer options like voice-controlled personal assistants, more of those searchers may be inclined to try them out.

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