Google Falls To 3rd In Smart Speaker Market

A new report from research firm Canalys shows that Chinese search giant Baidu is now the world’s second biggest vendor of smart speakers, knocking Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google to third place. According to the firm’s most recent report, Baidu captured 17.3 percent of the global market in the second quarter of 2019, delivering 4.5 million shipments. This represented year-on-year growth of 3,700 percent for the company.

Amazon remained the overall leader in the smart speaker market with more than 25 percent share and 6.6 million shipments. Google fell to the third spot with 4.3 million units shipped. Alibaba held fourth place with 4.1 million shipments and Xiaomi rounded out the top five with 2.8 million units shipped in the quarter. The rest of the market, which would also include Apple’s HomePod, totaled 3.7 million units.

Google’s drop represented a 19.8 percent year-on-year decline for the company. In the same quarter of last year, the company shipped 5.4 million units. Of the companies in the top five, Google was the only one that shipped fewer speakers than it did last year. Xiaomi, the next ‘worst’ player in the top five, managed to increase shipments of its smart speakers by 37.5 percent year-over-year.

Baidu and Google aren’t direct competitors. Baidu’s AI speakers, which run on an AI platform called DuerOS, are exclusively sold in its home market. Google has a worldwide footprint that includes nearly everywhere except China. China’s market overall doubled its quarterly shipments to 12.6 million units. Baidu overtook previous domestic leader Alibaba in the first quarter of this year.

The rapid growth of the smart speaker markets abroad have prompted both Amazon and Google turned their attention to non-U.S. markets. Worldwide smart speaker shipments grew by 55.4 percent in the second quarter to reach 26.1 million shipments. About half of Amazon’s smart speaker shipments were outside the U.S. in the quarter, up from 32 percent in the same period of last year. Google’s shipments outside the U.S. were 55 percent, up from 42 percent in the second quarter of 2018.

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