Who is winning the battle of the smart speakers?

Who is winning the battle of the smart speakers?

Pablo Tucker
May 18, 2018

Neither Amazon nor Google are present on the Chinese market, which saw strong growth in the quarter, explaining the decline in their global market shares. All the other smart speakers hovering around combined to be responsible for the remaining 1.3m shipments. That's up 278 percent over the same quarter of 2017, showing increasing consumer interest but still reflecting a small, niche market.

According to the latest data from Strategy Analytics, 9.2 million smart speakers were in the first quarter of this year.

Google had the biggest effect on Amazon's market share, with sales of its devices hitting 26.5pc in Q1 of 2018, a major increase from just 12.4pc in the same quarter of past year.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) which was supposed to knock it out of the park with its HomePod smart speaker controlled only 6% of the global market. Google is second with 2.4 million sales (26.5 percent share), while Alibaba sits in third having sold 700,000 speakers, giving it 7.6 percent of the market. Meanwhile, the newer kids on the block of Alibaba, Apple, and Xiaomi achieved 0.7m, 0.6m, and 0.2m shipments respectively.

Still, the analyst firm's estimates show that Amazon still has an impressive lead in the smart speaker market, having flogged roughly four million Echo devices during the three-month period, earning it 43.6 per cent of the market. "Alibaba and Xiaomi are leading the way in China and their strength in the domestic market alone is proving enough to propel them into the global top five", says David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics. Apple managed to grab the fourth position in the market with the launch of its HomePod in February 2018.

This means Apple has a long way to go in catching up with Amazon and Google.

"We are clearly heading towards to a time in the not too distant future when voice becomes a standard mode of technology interaction alongside established approaches like keyboard, mouse and touchscreen", Strategy Analytics vice president David Mercer said in a statement.

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