Alexa’s smart speaker market lead slips as Google Assistant and others gain

Amazon Alexa devices continue to be the biggest sellers in the smart speaker market worldwide, but Google Assistant is catching up, MediaPost reports.

Citing data from Strategic Analytics second-quarter 2018 international smart speaker shipment report, MediaPost wrote that Amazon’s global share of smart speaker shipments dropped from 44 percent in the first quarter of 2018 to 41 percent from April through June. Even more significant, Alexa’s year-to-year market share is cut almost in half, from 76 percent in the second quarter of 2017.

So who’s eating Alexa’s lunch? Google Assistant currently has the greatest piece of Amazon’s smart speaker market in the past year.

In second-quarter 2017 Google Assistant accounted for 16 percent of all smart speaker shipments. Jump ahead to this year and the “Hey, Google” devices made up 28 percent of global shipments.

Some quick math, however, reveals there’s more going on in smart speakers than products from Amazon and Google. In 2017, Amazon and Google combined for 92 percent of all smart speaker shipments worldwide during the second quarter. So other manufacturers made up the remaining 8 percent.

Google and Amazon each seek installed user bases for their various service business, according to Strategic Analytics. The two companies offer their smart speakers at low prices to drive sales.

Move ahead to 2018, however, and Amazon and Google’s combined second-quarter smart speaker shipments totaled 69 percent of the market. The two American companies still have the majority of shipments, but now there’s a bigger chunk, 31 percent, from other companies.

Don’t look at Apple. According to Strategic Analytics, “Apple increased its shipments from the previous quarter following its entry into three new markets during Q2. However, its high price continues to hamper demand for the HomePod.”

The Chinese market is the most significant regional force in the smart speaker shipment shift from complete dominance by Google and Amazon, and Chinese companies are reading from the same playbook as the current leaders.

“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,”Strategic Analytics reported. “As a result, the Asia Pacific market has now risen to 20 percent of global smart speaker shipment demand.”

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