Amazon remains number one, according to market research by Canalys. Google and Amazon were always in the top two spots. In the second quarter of 2019, Amazon shipped 6.6 million units; Baidu, 4.5 million units shipped; Google sold 4.3 million.
The report indicates that the worldwide smart speaker market sold 26.1 million units in the second quarter, a boost of 55.4 percent. Conversely, the U.S. market declined by 2.4 percent, with 6.1 million units shipped.
“Google's transition to the Nest branding while pivoting to smart displays proved to be a challenge, especially as it has begun rolling out its Nest Hub smart display globally,” Canalys senior analyst Jason Low said in the report. “Google urgently requires a revamped non-display smart speaker portfolio to rekindle consumer interest as well as a robust marketing strategy to build its Nest branding outside of the U.S.”
China, on the other hand, is leading the charge for smart speaker sales. It purchased 12.6 million smart speakers, which was more than double the volume in the U.S. Baidu’s growth was attributed to its go-to-market campaigns and its smart displays, which accounted for 45 percent of the products it shipped.
Baidu shipped 3.3 million speakers from an exclusive sponsorship deal with China’s national TV channel, CCTV, on its New Year’s Gala on Chinese New Year’s Eve. The promotion prompted users to download the Baidu app, which handed out more than 100 million coupons.
Looking ahead, global vendors including Amazon and Google are focusing on boosting interactions with smart assistants across different forms of speaker devices.
“Multimodal user interaction is the theme this year. Smart assistants in smart speakers are gaining more capabilities via additional components such as displays, cameras and sensors. However, skills and actions are there to enhance assistants’ abilities to operate and to provide value to users,” Low said.