4

Google is gaining ground on Amazon in smart speaker shipments

New market research projects that Amazon will not hold its massive lead over the smart speaker space indefinitely. Strategy Analytics’ latest report expects that Google will pose the most immediate challenge to Amazon and Echo’s dominance.

The report found that Amazon’s global smart speaker share of shipments was 41% in Q2 2018, dipping from 44% in Q1 2018 and from a whopping 76% in Q2 2017. Google is on an upswing, reaching a 28% share in Q2 2018 compared with 16% in Q2 2017.

Leaders from Strategy Analytics pointed to two areas where both the top two performers can expect to fend off additional inroads from their competitors. “Amazon and Google accounted for a 69% share of global smart speaker shipments in Q2 2018 down from over 90% in Q2 2017,” said David Watkins, director at Strategy Analytics. “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.”

David Mercer, a vice president at the company, added that the range of price tiers could also create openings for high-end products, where Apple can potentially shine. “Google and Amazon’s pursuit of volume over margin is making life very difficult for vendors entering the market with products that offer similar features,” he said. “However, the more premium end of the market does offer opportunity to vendors who can entice consumers with superior build and audio quality.”

Anna Washenko