Smartphone voice assistants are most common in China, according to the latest research from Dynata. In their survey of more than 1,000 internet users per market, over four-fifths (83%) of Chinese respondents say they own a smartphone that has voice assistant functionality. This is up from three-quarters (72%) in 2018.

The United States and the UK follow in second and third, with penetration at 67% and 66% respectively. In contrast, smartphone voice assistants are least common in the Netherlands (55%) and Germany (52%).

Among those with smartphone voice assistant functionality, nearly one-half (46%) say they use it 'very often' in China. This is a strong increase from 2018's one-quarter (24%).

The US again places second in heavy use at 27% of owners, but this is down from 29% in the previous year.

Although smartphone voice assistants are least common in Germany, nearly one-fifth (18%) of owners say they use the feature frequently. In contrast, over three-fifths of Australians (62%) have the functionality but only 12% of these use it 'very often'.

A diverse voice assistant market and local innovation has helped the technology grow in prominence in China. In comparison, voice marketing remains a niche pursuit in North America.

Growing use of voice assistants has fuelled interest in the new forms of commerce and search that it allows. However, overcoming deficiencies in accuracy, conversation, security and privacy remain vital.