Smartphones are preferred over digital assistants to control the connected home

GfK’s 2018 Smart Home report shows that 89% of consumers in the US see the smartphone as a controller of digital home products and services – up from 70% in 2015. The level for digital home assistants (41%) – such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home – is less than half the smartphone proportion.

  • Personal privacy represents a major obstacle to adoption for digital home assistants (DHAs) with 35% of consumers citing this concern.
  • Still, roughly half (51%) of DHA users say these devices are “extremely integrated” into their day-to-day lives – a relatively steep growth since DHAs have been available as a mass market device for a short period of time.
  • Smartphones are the most popular piece of tech hardware at home. 83% consumers say they use their smartphones at home, compared to 75% for laptops, 54% for PCs, and 34% for game consoles.

While consumers have some concerns over smartphone privacy and security – such as being tracked via location services – there is clearly greater lingering worry about the voice listening capabilities of DHAs. This may be one reason why our study shows digital home assistants scoring below smart coffee makers and light bulbs in owner satisfaction.

Tom Neri, Commercial Director of Tech & Durables at GfK.

GfK’s findings are based on 1,000 online interviews with US consumers; the sample has been balanced by age, gender, and region. Surveys were completed on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and PCs.

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