- Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
- Google slipped to third place in the global smart speaker market after shipping 4.3 million units in the second quarter of 2019 – a 19.8% drop on last year.
- According to data from market research firm Canalys, Google was overtaken by Chinese firm Baidu, which shipped 4.5 million units during Q2.
- Amazon was the top seller overall, shipping 6.6 million Alexa devices over the period.
- The Chinese market could become more valuable to Amazon and Google as sales slow in the US.
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Google is losing its grip on the global smart speaker market.
According to a report from market research firm Canalys, Google fell to third place in the world’s top smart speaker sellers during the second quarter of 2019. The ranking is based on the number of units shipped during this period.
Google shipped 4.3 million smart speaker devices in the three months to the end of June, which was down 19.8% on the same period last year, Canalys said.
It was overtaken by Chinese tech firm Baidu, which exclusively serves the Chinese market and grew by a whopping 3,700%, shipping 4.5 million units during this quarter versus 100,000 the year before. Baidu was second only to Amazon, which shipped 6.6 million Alexa devices and captures 25.4% of the global market share.
Canalys said that Baidu grew at a rapid rate thanks to “aggressive marketing” in China. It also benefited from being a “key driver of smart displays,” it said, which accounted for 45% of the products it shipped in the quarter.
Meanwhile, Google suffered from its Nest rebranding, the report said.
“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 US.”
The Chinese market will become a more valuable audience for the US players to win as sales of smart speakers slow in their own country. According to Canalys, China doubled its quarterly shipment size to 12.6 million units last quarter, while the US saw shipments dropped 2.4%. Amazon and Google are now focused on driving sales elsewhere.