Amazon, Google, and yes, even Apple had a great second quarter in the thriving smart speaker market

Amazon, Google, and yes, even Apple had a great second quarter in the thriving smart speaker market
While the global smartphone industry is showing little to no sign of a recovery after its seventh consecutive quarter with a shipment decline, two smaller and younger markets continue to astonish us as they grow at a remarkable pace year after year and month after month. 

We're talking about smartwatches, copiously dominated by Apple's life-saving models, and smart speakers, where pioneering company Amazon is seeing its supremacy threatened from two different geographical areas. On one side, Google has been able to narrow the gap to first place by employing a similar strategy as the e-commerce giant centered on diversity and affordability, while on the other, Baidu, Alibaba, and Xiaomi are spearheading the obligatory invasion of popular Chinese brands.

If you're wondering what part Apple is playing in this grand game of chess, the answer is... not a very important one. Namely, according to Strategy Analytics, only 1.4 million HomePods were sold around the world between April and June 2019, enough for a modest 4.7 percent market share. But while Apple's slice of the pie is down from 5.1 percent in Q2 2018, its shipment figures have actually increased from 1.1 million during the first three months of 2019 and a microscopic 0.8 million last year. Clearly, that permanent price cut instated at the very beginning of this quarter vastly improved the "premium" HomePod's mass appeal. Now if only Apple were interested more in volume and less in profits...


At the top of the chart, both Amazon and Google continued to boost their sales numbers... while losing precious global share against rapidly improving Chinese rivals. 6.6 million shipments of Echo devices equated to a 21.9 percent slice of the pie, down from 29.1 percent in Q2 2018, while Google Home sales jumped from 3.2 to 5.6 million units, enough for an 18.5 percent share, compared to 20.8 percent last year.

In third place, Baidu surged from 0.8 to 15.3 percentage points in just 12 months, while Alibaba and Xiaomi actually followed Amazon and Google's trend in boosting their shipments but losing share. All in all, Strategy Analytics says more than 30 million smart speakers were sold worldwide in Q2 2019, representing almost 100 percent growth from 15.5 million units in the April - June 2018 timeframe. And yes, sales are expected to continue improving, even though smart speaker ownership in markets like the US has reached an incredible 30 percent of households.

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12 Comments

1. strawberry

Posts: 89; Member since: Feb 20, 2019

samsung no smart speaker?

3. sgodsell

Posts: 7190; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Galaxy Home has nothing right now in the smart speaker market. The two biggest ones already have smart displays. Which to me and many others is the next step after smart speakers. Only two voice platforms offer smart displays (Alexa, Google Assistant). Samsung has neither right now. All the others including Apple don't have smart display support for their voice platforms.

4. midan

Posts: 2707; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

oh it's the guy from the future talking!

6. sgodsell

Posts: 7190; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I am only telling the truth, unlike you who lies all the time to pump up your fruity love.

7. midan

Posts: 2707; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

I was talking to papa_Ji Why would i call you to guy from the future? Also: i never lie

11. Vancetastic

Posts: 1097; Member since: May 17, 2017

Anyone who says "I never lie" is pretty easily picked out as a.....liar. Me? I lie all the time, like the rest of humanity.

9. mackan84

Posts: 370; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Explain “many others...”. Unless the smart displays come with the home mini/echo dot-price tag, those speaker won’t sell half as much. That’s the truth really, so please stop acting like you know what the tech-community and average Joe wants. Sgodsell please find some other joy in life then sounding like a narcissistic, pessimistic tech-nerd looking for debates on PA. It’s not good for you, you will never find peace. Haven’t seen you write one word here what solely you appreciate with your device or other devices since I started going into the comments.

12. sgodsell

Posts: 7190; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

"Explain “many others...”. Unless the smart displays come with the home mini/echo dot-price tag, those speaker won’t sell half as much. That’s the truth really, so please stop acting like you know what the tech-community and average Joe wants." First of all anyone with half a brain that has been looking at these smart displays from day one. Knows that they can do everything that a smart speaker can do, only a lot more. So even if you ask for basic things like the weather, then you get to see more than today's temperature. Inquire about stocks, and you see on the display more information as well. And this continues on for lots of stuff. Also at times when you look at information you get to see sometimes charts, graphs, and pie charts (pictures). All of which is worth more than a thousand words, as that saying goes. Plus you get to play videos and movies. Not to mention when you see a sale price on those smart displays. Then it really does become a no brainer to buy a smart display over a smart speaker. For instance the Google Home Hub went for as low as $65, Echo Show 5 as low as $60, Lenovo smart display 8" as low as $119, not to mention the other smart displays have went on sale as well. So why wouldn't you buy a smart display if then went on sale? Especially if you were looking to buy a smart speaker in the first place.

5. TBomb

Posts: 1392; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I have 3 google home minis at home (came from promotional offerings and what not) - i used half of one of them.

8. lyndon420

Posts: 6723; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

You used half a speaker??

10. Vancetastic

Posts: 1097; Member since: May 17, 2017

You lost me at "copiously dominated by Apple's life-saving models"...

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