Amazon is poised to take 70.6% of the voice-controlled speaker market this year, smashing competition by a large share. According to a new report by eMarketer, Amazon's Echo devices will be the clear winners of the new artificial intelligence-powered speaker market in the U.S., where usage will skyrocket in 2017. At least 35.6 million American consumers will be using a voice-controlled hub this year, which represents a huge jump over 2016 – close to 130%.

Outshining competition

While Amazon has been first to market, there are multiple companies releasing or working on such devices.

Google released Google Home at last year's I/O developer conference and the device seems to be gaining traction: eMarketer predicts it will be the second-most popular voice-controlled hub, snatching 23.8% of the market. All other devices account for only 5.6% and come from multiple and diverse companies, such as Chinese powerhouse Lenovo, Mattel, LG, and Harmon Kardon.

Amazon's Echo has gained an enormous chunk of the market not only because it was a disruptive device, to begin with, but also because the company has been integrating more and more capabilities and services into it. Its popularity has met some controversy, however; a news segment on television accidentally activated Echo devices and prompted them to order unwanted dollhouses from Amazon.

On a recent murder investigation, authorities requested access to the device's history on Amazon's database, thinking the Echo was constantly "listening" and could help police solve the case.

eMarketer's forecast warns that Amazon will lose market share to Google in the next few years. However, the company says the Echo will be the leader "for the foreseeable future."

Apple wants in

As eMarketer projects massive growth in the market, rumors keep coming that Apple is working on its own voice-controlled intelligent hub, powered by the company's digital assistant Siri.

These rumors were apparently confirmed by Apple's own Phil Schiller, who spoke to Gadgets360 about multiple topics – including this sort of devices.

Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, would not comment on Echo, Home or other devices because he didn't have "anything nice to say." He then resorted to an "abstract" view of the market and hinted Apple might be working on a device that not only features voice controls, but also a screen.

He mentioned photography, games, and maps to get his point across.

If Apple is planning on introducing such a device, it is possible that it chooses to do so in September, along with the new iPhone 8.