The global smart speaker market increased by 55.4% within the second quarter to reach 26.1 million shipments. Amazon remained to guide the race, considering for 6.6 million units shipped within the quarter. Google, however, fell to the third place as China’s Baidu surged ahead. Baidu in Q2 grew a massive 3,700% to reach 4.5 million units, overtaking Google’s 4.3 million units shipped.
China’s market overall increased its quarterly shipments to 12.6 million units, or more than twice the U.S.’s 6.1 million total. The latter describes a slight (2.4%) drop since the prior quarter.
Baidu’s growth in the quarter was associated with competitive marketing and go-to-market operations. It was particularly successful in terms of smart displays, which considered for 45% of the products it shipped.
“Local network operators’ pursuits on the smart display device category soared just lately. This bodes effectively for Baidu as it faces little competition in the smart show class, permitting the company to dominate in the operator channel,” noted Canalys Research Analyst Cynthia Chen.
Meanwhile, Google was challenged by the Nest rebranding in Q2, the analyst agency stated.
The report also suggested that Google should introduce a revamped smart speaker portfolio to rekindle consumer interest. The Google Home device hasn’t been updated since launch still sporting the air freshener-model looks it had back in 2016. And the Google Home Mini hasn’t received far more 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, in addition to its elevated focus on smart displays.
Amazon, by comparison, has up to date its Echo line of speakers several times whereas expanding Alexa to units with screens like the Echo Spot and Present, and to these without like the Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Auto, and others even clocks and microwaves as sort of public experiments in voice computing.
That said, each Amazon and Google turned their attention to non-U.S. markets in Q2, the report discovered. Indeed, 50% of Amazon’s smart speaker shipments were outside the U.S. in Q2, up from 32% in Q2 last year. And 55% of Google’s purchases were outside the U.S., up from 42% in Q2 2018.