Google delivered more smart speakers than Amazon in Q1 for the first time ever

Google delivered more smart speakers than Amazon in Q1 for the first time ever
Amazon offered the first Amazon Echo back in 2015. As the creator of a new category, the Echo has the largest market share of installed units, and continued to top the sales charts each quarter. That is, until the first quarter of this year. First, let's step back to look at the big picture. Smart speakers are the fastest growing tech product and are made up of a speaker and a virtual personal assistant. For the three month period that ran from January through March, 9 million units were shipped globally according to research firm Canalys. That is a healthy 210% rise year-over-year.

As Paul Harvey used to say, "Now, the rest of the story." During the first quarter of this year, 3.2 million Google Home and Google Home Mini units were shipped worldwide. And that topped the 2.5 million Echo smart speakers that were shipped in the quarter by Amazon. To repeat, this was the first time that Google shipped more smart speakers than Amazon in a quarter. Google's shipments rose 483% compared to the 8% growth achieved by Amazon. Third place went to China's Alibaba, which shipped 1.1 million TMall branded smart speakers in the period. And number four was Xiaomi. The latter delivered more than 600,000 Xiao AI speakers in China from January through March. The "others" category, which includes the Apple HomePod, accounted for 1.56 million smart speakers shipped globally in Q1. In all fairness to Apple, the HomePod didn't launch until February 9th meaning that it was available for less than two full months during the three month quarter.

In the U.S., 4.1 million smart speakers were shipped from January through March, and the top three manufacturers were Google, Amazon and Apple. In China, a total of 1.8 million units were delivered with Alibaba, Xiaomi and DingDong ranked one through three, respectively.

 Shipments of Google Home smart speakers beat out Amazon Echo deliveries for the first time ever in Q1 2018

Shipments of Google Home smart speakers beat out Amazon Echo deliveries for the first time ever in Q1 2018


source: Canalys

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16 Comments

1. sgodsell

Posts: 7004; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Google's voice recognition is second to none. It is by far the best out their. Not to mention TV integration is the best out there by far. It's so easy to watch something on Netflix or YouTube and others, just by using your voice. Can't beat it right now.

11. jacksmith21006

Posts: 68; Member since: Nov 03, 2015

We started with the Echo and then purchased a Google Home and was blown away how much easier it is to interact with the Google Home. Never understood how someone could suggest the Echo is competitive. Last week was a perfect, real life, example. Son had high school graduation at this University in the city arena. It is named have a donor and has a hard to prounounce name. Thought had plenty of time to get there but decided to check and asked the Google Home drive time with butchering the name of the arena. It gets it and comes back with 2x drive time. There was a MLB game in the city that started 15 minutes after graduation and did not realize this. Google Home saved my butt and enabled me to get there in time. Both Alexa and Siri could not handle the query. But this happens all the time.

2. EC112987

Posts: 1214; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

I have them alll over the house. They’re nice to have.

3. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2311; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I would caution making definitive conclusions from this, only because in this same quarter we’ve seen Google give large incentives on their smart speakers to get them into people’s hands. We’ve seen tons of bundle offers (where if you buy a product you got a Google Home for free), stores offering a free one if you spent a certain amount of money (eBay did this if you spent $150), and discounts depending on what type of credit card or membership you have. Again, I’m not trying to discount how great of a product they have, but rather I’m cautioning drawing direct conclusions from this information. Irregardless, it’s great news for Google because it means their product is in more homes like they want.

5. sgodsell

Posts: 7004; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

If you buy a Nest or Nest cam then you will get a free Home mini. Along with a lot of other things as well. Google can do this because the Home minis are so inexpensive. It's not like Google is giving you a Home Max. As a matter of fact there is even Raspberry Pi Google Assistant kits that are really inexpensive as well. You can even program the heck out of them to do almost anything your heart desires. Plus the TV integration is the best out there. Just buy an inexpensive Chromecast and away you go. Plus none of the others come even close to Google's Home with voice controls for watching or listening to content on your TV.

6. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2311; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I think you just reinforced my point. You said Google includes a Home Mini with Nest products among other things, well that could very well be the difference between a consumer actively wanting and purchasing a product and something merely being included for free. That’s why I said take this information with caution when drawing conclusions. If you were to say you sold a million devices, that would automatically sound like you made a hugely successful product that people want. However, if you instead told people you “delivered” a million products with the knowledge that many of them were part of bundle deals or giveaways, then it no longer makes it seem like you necessarily made a successful product people wanted. Rather it’s that you just had a strategy to get it into people’s hands.

7. mootu

Posts: 1443; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Probably because it's not about sales for Google. What they want is data. These things probably cost about $10 to make and Google is happy to buy your data for $10. The more big data they have then the smarter Googles Ai becomes.

9. sgodsell

Posts: 7004; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The minis would cost slightly more, but not too much more. Still at the end of the day, these Google Homes delivery a lot at that price. Plus if you have any Bluetooth speaker kicking around, or a Chromecast, then you can really get great sound out of an inexpensive Home mini.

10. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2311; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Ok seriously is this like the Truman Show where somehow you build in advertising into everything you say? How is it that he makes that comment and you come back and say that? Your comments literally read as advertisements now because you aren’t responding to people you’re just going back to talking points about how great Google Home is.

12. sgodsell

Posts: 7004; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I have Google's Home's and Amazon Echo's as well. Since I have both of those, then I can honestly say which responds better, and which works better with your TV, or Home theater system. Dr. Phil I already know you have none of these smart speakers because your an Apple guy. Oh, and calling the Homepod a smart speaker is just dumb, especially when you have to AirPlay everything (except Apple music) to the HomePod using your iPhone. May as well use a Bluetooth speaker instead. Kind of defeats the smart speaker part, if you have to keep changing types by going back to your iPhone (other than Apple Music). At least the Google Homes and Amazon Echo's both support Bluetooth, so you can use your iPhone or iPad any play anything that way.

13. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2311; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I own both Amazon Echos and Google Homes...but thanks for assuming and also still going on about your ad. Are you being paid in sponsorship deals or what? Literally every comment does not produce anything worth discussing. It’s just all ad talk.

15. jacksmith21006

Posts: 68; Member since: Nov 03, 2015

Dr Phil, I started with an Echo but then purchased a Google Home and then more Google Homes. So someone that has used both extensively. There is really no competition. What happened is Amazon banned every company on their market place from being allowed to sell the Google Homes. But even though they banned the sales and hijacked searches and they were on the market 2 years longer we can see Google already has moved ahead of Amazon. The reason is that it honestly is not competitive. Google is far easier to use and obviously a lot smarter.

4. Tziggy14

Posts: 623; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

Google has been practically selling these at massive discounts and bundles this past year at Best Buy. It's no suprise.

8. Martineverest

Posts: 521; Member since: Oct 27, 2015

about half of those speakers sold were actually given freely

14. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

Google is simply better than Amazon when it comes to voice recognition, which these devices rely on heavily to be any use. I speak with a heavy accent and the Google home can understand everything I say. The same isn't true for the Amazon Echo.

16. jacksmith21006

Posts: 68; Member since: Nov 03, 2015

Agree. But not just the voice recognition but also understanding what you are asking. It really is not close. Then the obvious the Google Home is just a lot smarter.

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