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Google Closing In On Amazon’s Smart Speaker Lead

New research shows that Google gained ground on Amazon’s global smart speaker share for the second quarter of 2018.

Strategy Analytics’ latest smart speaker report, “Global Smart Speaker Vendor & OS Shipment and Installed Base Market Share by Region: Q2 2018,” provides detailed quarterly metrics for the top 20 smart speaker vendors and 14 leading voice operating systems worldwide. The research shows that Amazon’s shipments fell to 41 percent in Q2 2018 from 44 percent in Q1, and from 76 percent in Q2 of last year. Conversely, Google increased its share to 28 percent in Q2 2018, up from 16 percent during Q2 2017.

“Amazon and Google accounted for a 69 percent share of global smart speaker shipments in Q2 2018 down from over 90 percent in Q2 2017,” said David Watkins, director at Strategy Analytics, in a press release. “The drop is not only a reflection of growing competition in the smart speaker market, but also Amazon and Google’s inability to break into the fast-growing Chinese market that is dominated by local powerhouse brands, such as Alibaba, JD.com and Baidu. China has the potential to be a hugely lucrative market for smart speakers and the voice assistant platforms that power them, and Google’s recent $500 million strategic partnership with Chinese eCommerce giant JD.com is a sign that it is deadly serious about not missing the opportunity.”

The report revealed that Alibaba finished third in smart speaker shipments for the second quarter, with Apple and JD.com rounding out the top five.

“Apple increased its shipments from the previous quarter, following its entry into three new markets during Q2,” said Watkins. “However, its high price continues to hamper demand for the HomePod. The Chinese market has grown rapidly so far this year, as local players such as Alibaba, JD.com and Baidu follow the same strategic path set by Amazon and Google. As a result, the Asia-Pacific market has now risen to 20 percent of global smart speaker shipment demand.”

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