Amazon, Google lead global smart speaker market
London: Amazon and Google accounted for 70 per cent share of the global smart speaker shipments in the first quarter of 2018, with Apple selling 600,000 Home Pods in the period, a new report said on Friday.
According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, global smart speaker shipments reached 9.2 million units in the first quarter.
With 43.6 per cent market share, Amazon shipped an impressive four million smart speakers during the quarter though its global market share nearly halved from the same period in 2017.
Google (26.5 per cent market share with 2.4 million sales) and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (7.6 per cent market share) consolidated their number two and three rankings, while Apple with six per cent share became the fourth largest smart speaker brand worldwide.
"Amazon and Google accounted for a dominant 70 per cent share of global smart speaker shipments in Q1 2018 although their combined share has fallen from 84 per cent in Q4 2017 and 94 per cent in the year ago quarter," said David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics.
This is partly as a result of strong growth in the Chinese market for smart speakers where both Amazon and Google are currently absent.
"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," he added.
Today's smart speakers are by no means the finished article but they have captured the consumer imagination.
"We are clearly heading towards 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," Watkins said.