The global smart speaker market advanced 55.4% in Q2 to reach 26.1 million deliveries, according to a new report from Canalys. Amazon continued to lead the race, accounting for 6.6 million units sold in the quarter. Google; however, dropped to the third spot as China’s Baidu surged ahead. Baidu in the second quarter grew a sizable 3,700% to reach 4.5 million units, overtaking Google’s 4.3 million units delivered.
China’s market overall multiplied its quarterly sales to 12.6 million units, or over twice the U.S.’s 6.1 million sum. The latter denotes a slight (2.4%) decline since the earlier quarter.
Baidu’s progress in the quarter was attributed to aggressive marketing and go-to-market operations. It was successful in terms of smart displays, which accounted for 45% of the merchandise it delivered.
In the meantime, Google was challenged by the Nest rebranding in the second quarter, the analyst firm stated.
The report further suggested that Google ought to introduce a revamped smart speaker portfolio to rekindle shopper interest. The Google Home gadget hasn’t been updated since launch — still sporting the air freshener-style looks it had back in 2016. And the Google Home Mini hasn’t received anything than a color change.
Instead, Google’s attention as of late has been on making it easier for device manufacturers to integrate with Google Assistant technology, along with its increased concentration on smart displays.
Amazon, by comparison, has updated its Echo line of speakers several times whereas expanding Alexa to units with screens like the Echo Spot and Show, and to those without the Echo Plus, Echo Auto, Echo dots and others — even clocks and microwaves — as sort of public experiments in voice computing.
That said, Amazon and Google turned their attention to non-U.S. marketplaces in the second quarter. Indeed, 50% of Amazon’s smart speaker shipments were outside the U.S. in Q2, up from 32% in 2018’s second quarter. And 55% of Google’s deliveries were outside the U.S., up from 42% during the same interval.