Baidu ousts Google from second place in smart speaker market

The Chinese manufacturer Baidu can now call itself the second largest manufacturer of smart speakers. According to market researcher Canalys, Baidu surpassed Google in the second quarter of 2019, with a market share of 17.3 percent. Amazon remains the market leader with more than 25 percent.

Baidu delivered 4.5 million smart speakers in the second quarter of this year, accounting for 17.3 percent of the total market. The company thus recorded a growth of 3,700 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Google’s market share is 16.9 percent, which equates to 4.3 million speakers. A year ago, Google was still good for 5.4 million smart speakers, then almost a third of the market.

Amazon sold significantly more devices in the second quarter, according to Canalys. Echo speakers sold 6.6 million versus 4.1 million in the same period a year ago. As a result, the market share of the e-commerce giant increased from 24.5 to 25.4 percent.

Baidu’s smart speakers rely on the DuerOS platform for their artificial intelligence. The company initially aimed at the more expensive market segment, with the Raven H speakers, but sales were disappointing. New, cheaper models, such as the Xiaodu speaker of barely 11 euros, sell well.

The Verge notes that Google and Baidu are not direct competitors. Baidu sells its products exclusively in China, Google’s smart speakers are available almost worldwide, except in China. Baidu CEO Robin Li also said last year that he was “not afraid at all” should Google return to the Chinese market at some point.

The Raven H, a smart speaker from Baidu