Smart speaker shipments continued to grow at a harried pace in Q3 2019, with global shipments swelling 45% year over year (YoY) to 28.6 million, according to the latest report from Canalys.
Amazon accounted for more than one in three smart speaker shipments, a particularly impressive stat considering it has practically no presence in China, the world’s largest smart speaker market. Alibaba and Baidu drove growth in the Chinese market, with Alibaba shipping 3.9 million units in Q3 (+78% YoY) and Baidu shipping 3.7 million units (+290% YoY).
Despite strong growth in the segment overall, Google saw a YoY decrease in smart speaker shipments in the quarter. For the second consecutive quarter, Google saw a YoY decline in smart speaker shipments. The company shipped 5.9 million smart speakers in Q3 2018, but only 3.5 million in Q3 2019, representing a 40% decline YoY.
Amazon shipped nearly three times as many smart speakers as Google in Q3 2019, while just a year prior, the companies were nearly equal.
Google still has the more thriving digital assistant ecosystem. Smart speakers are portals to AI-powered digital assistants, which require data to improve over time. Even with a smaller share of the smart speaker market, Google directly embedded its voice assistant in billions of devices, with the Android operating system alone surpassing 2.5 billion active devices in 2019.
By comparison, Amazon crossed the 100 million device threshold for Alexa in the beginning of 2019. In this sense, although Amazon has a considerable lead in terms of smart speaker devices, it is playing catch up in terms of making Alexa as ubiquitous as Google Assistant.
Source: Business Insider