The smart speaker is not only becoming more popular, but there are also more and more of it. That explains why the number of Google Assistants, Alexa’s and especially Chinese smart speakers sold almost doubled in the past year. Almost 17 million smart speakers have now been sold, in the second quarter of 2018 alone!
Market research of Canalys has shown that a shift is taking place on the market. Where first the global smart speaker market was dominated by Amazon with the Echoes with a market share of more than 80 percent, it is now Google leading the way. The sales of Google Home have risen by an astounding 450 percent, probably because the smart speaker is available in a lot more markets.
China pulls up
The most striking thing is the advance of the Chinese smart speakers. Both Xiaomi and Alibaba have been selling since this year and in the second quarter they have managed to secure a market share of 30%. That means five million speakers in a quarter. Both brands have therefore made a big spurt in the past year and, according to the analysts, are following the growth of the US.
You can count on two fingers that China will become the biggest market for this kind of speakers, although you may wonder if that is a good thing, given the privacy violations that are the order of the day. China already has a huge network of cameras with face recognition and now consumers also appear to be placing massively – and voluntarily – microphones in their homes. It turns out that Chinese consumers are perfectly prepared, if the smart speakers are cheap – and they are.
Those you do not see in this list is Apple, because they do not even come close to the numbers that the other manufacturers know to sell. In the US, Apple has sold quite a bit with the HomePod, but outside it the device is barely available and even though it seems the device is still far from popular at the moment, mainly due to the high price and the disappointing cleverness of Siri. So there is a good chance that if this overview comes along again next year, Apple will not be there.