- The global smart speaker market grew 55.4 percent in the second quarter to reach 26.1 million shipments.
- In the second quarter, Baidu grew a sizable 3,700 percent to reach 4.5 million units, overtaking Google’s 4.3 million units shipped.
According to a report by Canalys, the global smart speaker market grew 55.4 percent in the second quarter to reach 26.1 million shipments. Amazon remained on the top, accounting of 6.6 million units shipped in the quarter. However, Google fell down to the third spot as China’s Baidu surged ahead. In the second quarter, Baidu grew a sizable 3,700 percent to reach 4.5 million units, overtaking Google’s 4.3 million units shipped.
China’s market increased double fold in its quarterly shipments to 12.6 million units or more than twice the U.S.’s 6.1 million total. The U.S. market saw a slight decline at 2.4 percent since the last quarter.
Baidu’s growth in the quarter is a result of go-to-market campaigns and aggressive marketing. Smart Displays accounts for a big part of Baidu’s market with 45 percent of the products it shipped being Smart Displays.
“Local network operators’ interests on the [smart display] device category soared recently. This bodes well for Baidu as it faces little competition in the smart display category, allowing the company to dominate in the operator channel,” noted Canalys Research Analyst Cynthia Chen.
The report also gave feedback that Google should introduce a new and revamped smart speaker portfolio to regenerate the consumer interest. The Google Home device is without any update since its launch- still carrying the air freshener-style look it had back in 2016. Google Home Mini is also in the same state with just a little bit of color correction.
Instead, Google has shifted its attention on making it easier for device manufacturers to integrate with Google Assistant technology, in addition to its increased focus on smart displays.
Amazon, on the other hand, has updated its Echo range of speakers several times while spreading Alexa to devices with screens like the Echo Spot and Shot and to those without like the Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Auto, and others- even clocks and microwaves- as sort of public experiments in voice computing.
Both Amazon and Google turned their focus to non-U.S. markets in Quarter 2, the report found. 50 percent of Amazon’s smart speaker shipments were outside the U.S. in quarter 2, up from 32 percent in quarter 2 last year. Google also saw a surge in shipments outside the U.S., 55 percent as compared to 42 percent in quarter 2 2018.
Beyond the top 3 — Amazon, Baidu and now No. 3 Google — the remaining top five included Alibaba and Xiaomi, with 4.1 million and 2.8 million units shipped in Q2, respectively.
The rest of the market, which would also include Apple’s HomePod, totaled 3.7 million units.