Google is no longer the second largest global manufacturer of this red hot tech product

Google is no longer the second largest global manufacturer of this red hot tech product
The smart speaker market remains one of the most compelling growth stories in tech. According to the latest report from research firm Canalys, global shipments of the device hit 26.1 million units during the second quarter, up 55.4% year-over-year. That's a growth rate that would make most consumer electronic products turn green with envy. 9.3 million additional speakers were delivered during the three month period when compared to the same quarter last year.

Continuing to lead the industry is category creator Amazon. The manufacturer of the Echo line of speakers shipped 6.6 million units from April through June, a 61.1% improvement on an annual basis, and good enough for a 25.4% global market share. The big news is that Google has been replaced as the second-largest global speaker manufacturer by China's Baidu. Canalys cites the latter's "aggressive marketing" as one of the reasons why it outshipped Google during the quarter.  Baidu delivered 4.5 million smart speakers during the period compared to 4.3 million for Google. But as the research firm points out, neither company competes with each other in the markets that they sell their speakers to. And 45% of Baidu's shipments were made up of smart displays. Baidu and Google owned 17.3% and 16.7% of the global speaker market, respectively. On an annual basis, Baidu saw its speaker shipments soar 3700% during the three-month period.

Amazon and Google are both focused on shipping more speakers out of the U.S.


Following Google, Chinese conglomerate Alibaba was next, shipping 4.1 million units during the three months. Despite increasing its deliveries by nearly 39%, the company couldn't keep up with the overall market and it's market share declined from 17.7% to 15.8%. And in fifth place was Xiaomi with shipments of 2.8 million speakers and a 14.1% slice of the pie. If you're wondering where Apple and its HomePod smart speaker lies, it is lumped into the category marked "others." That group delivered a total of 3.7 million speakers for a 14.1% market share. 

The U.S. market, according to Canalys, was softer with shipments declining 2.4% to 6.1 million units during the three-month quarter. Canalys senior analyst Jason Low blamed the decline on Amazon and Google's focus on growing demand for their speakers outside of the country, and on Google's rebranding of its line from Google Home to Google Nest. Low says that Google "urgently" needs to revamp its smart speaker line and produce a "robust marketing strategy to build its Nest branding outside of the U.S." During the quarter, half of Amazon's speakers were shipped to countries other than the U.S., up from 32% sent overseas during the second quarter of 2018. Google shipped 55% of its smart speakers outside of the states from April through June this year, up from 42% in 2018.


Just last week, a report indicated that Google was in the process of making changes to its entry-level Home Mini speaker. Besides getting a new name (the Google Nest Mini), the revamped speaker will be a bit larger than its predecessor and offer higher quality and louder audio. It also will be equipped with a 3.5mm earphone jack. Canalys also said that smart speaker manufacturers are in the process of producing more complex devices, many featuring a touchscreen display.


A recent report noted that Apple is looking to create a cheaper version of the HomePod. The company will reportedly equip the new model with two tweeters instead of the seven employed by the current version. While that might address the price issue with the device, Apple will still need to do something about its Siri digital assistant. Google Assistant is considered by many to be the best AI helper with Amazon's Alexa and Siri trailing behind.

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10 Comments

1. DFranch

Posts: 557; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

I have an echo dot and Google home mini. I prefer the echo for most automation tasks (turning lights, TV on and off), but google is much better at answering questions.

3. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Google smart displays are superior to Amazon's Echo Shows. Plus the Lenovo, and JBL smart displays are also superior to Amazon Echo Shows. Especially in terms of functionality and app development. Smart display development is more robust and feature packed on Google's vs Amazon's APL. Also this is far from the real picture, especially when it's only looking at Google's sales, and not the other smart speaker OEMs, or smart display OEMs. Their sales would greatly boost the total number of Google Assistant devices.

2. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The problem with canalys is they only look at Google, and then people think that Google Assistant is going down in sales. But that is far from the truth. What about other vendors that sell smart speakers and smart displays from other vendors. Like Sony, Lenovo, JBL, LG, Bose, Sonos and many more that include Google Assistant on their smart speakers and/or smart displays. So this is not the real picture at all. If you included all of the others sales as well, then the real picture would be much greater.

4. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

There is 3.7 million others. Which most of the others include Google Assistant on board. So the real question is how many of that 3.7 million have Google Assistant on board?

7. mackan84

Posts: 555; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Don’t think consumers give a s**t if it’s Alexa or Google assistant...

8. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

That's not true. A smart speaker is one thing. But a smart display is another. Plus Apple fanboys like Siri, which that smart speaker falls under the others category, and only have one smart speaker, and no smart displays. When it comes to smart displays, then there is only two platforms for the majority of the world. They are Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant. They have been growing, and Google only sells one smart display. When there was is a lot of different smart displays from a number of different OEMs. These Chinese smart speaker and smart display OEMs are not sold out of China, which Canalys is also based out of China.

11. mackan84

Posts: 555; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

You have three categories of people in this. Investors, consumers and tech-nerds. Investors don’t really care how a single product in alphabets giant income-source pans out. Google just have to explain that they have another source for ad-revenue that is growing. Consumers just want to know if this speaker or smart display if you will, “can control my hue-lights and play my Spotify playlist”. Tech-nerds like yourself however feel the need to read up, debate and even defend the biggest corporation in the world for a questionable survey when said corporation isn’t on top. So regarding the latter and what you wrote first. Doesn’t most smart speakers/smart display come bundled with two assistants as of lately? Google assistant and Alexa. Because I guess you want a winner in this report. The simple answer for your quest is that the one that makes the most money is the winner.

5. mackan84

Posts: 555; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

I learned a new word today. Baidu!

9. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1270; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

NOT buying smart speakers is the real smart move, imho... Dumb speakers FTW...

10. gadgetpower

Posts: 283; Member since: Aug 23, 2019

Bixby where?

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