Research: Google closes on Amazon in Smart speakers

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According to research from Strategy Analytics, Amazon’s global smart speaker share of shipments fell to 41 per cent in Q2 2018 from 44 per cent in Q1 and 76 per cent in Q2 2017. By contrast Google has increased its share to 28 per cent in Q2 2018, up from 16 per cent during the same period last year. Alibaba finished third with Apple and JD.com rounding out the top five.

David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics commented that “Amazon and Google accounted for a 69 per cent share of global smart speaker shipments in Q2 2018 down from over 90 per cent in Q2 2017. The drop is not only a reflection of growing competition in the smart speaker market but also Amazon and Google’s inability to break into the fast growing Chinese market that is dominated by local powerhouse brands such as Alibaba, JD.com and Baidu. China has the potential to be a hugely lucrative market for smart speakers and the voice assistant platforms that power them and Google’s recent $500 million strategic partnership with Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com is a sign that it is deadly serious about not missing the opportunity.”

David Mercer, Vice President at Strategy Analytics added: “Google and Amazon’s pursuit of volume over margin is making life very difficult for vendors entering the market with products that offer similar features. However, the more premium end of the market does offer opportunity to vendors who can entice consumers with superior build and audio quality. Early adopters of low-cost smart speakers such as the Echo Dot or Google Home Mini and who are now looking to buy a second device will be a key target demographic for such vendors. Apple has established an early lead in the premium smart speaker market, benefiting from a fiercely loyal fan base and strong momentum behind its Apple Music service. However, we expect the higher end smart speaker market to grow and become much more competitive moving forwards as vendors such as Samsung with its Galaxy Home speaker look to capitalise on the growing acceptance of voice as an established control.


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