What you need to know
- Chinese search giant Baidu has become the world's second larger smart speaker manufacturer.
- According to data from Canalys, Baidu shipped 4.5 million smart speakers in Q2 2019, 0.2 million more than Google.
- Amazon was the world's biggest smart speaker vendor in Q2 2019.
According to the latest smart speaker market analysis from research firm Canalys, China's Baidu was the second biggest smart speaker vendor in the second quarter of 2019. The data revealed by the firm claims Baidu held 17.3% share of the global market and shipped 4.5 million smart speakers during the April-June period.
Google, which occupied the first position in Q2 2018, has slipped to the third spot. It shipped 4.3 million smart speakers in Q2 2019, grabbing 16.7% share of the global market. During the same period last year, Google held a significantly higher 32.3% market share.
Baidu, on the other hand, shipped just 0.1 million smart speakers in Q2 2018 and held a mere 0.7% share of the market. One of the biggest reasons behind the massive 3,700 percent year-on-year growth achieved by the company is the competitive pricing of its smart speakers. Baidu's most affordable Xiaodu speaker retails for just 89 yuan ($12) in China.
As noted by The Verge, Google and Baidu aren't exactly direct competitors. Baidu's smart speaker lineup is sold only in China. Google, on the other hand, has no presence in the Chinese smart speaker market.
Amazon remained the world's biggest smart speaker vendor in Q2 2019, shipping a total of 6.6 million units. The company had shipped 4.1 million smart speakers during the same period last year. While nowhere near as impressive as the 3,700 percent growth achieved by Baidu, Amazon's 61.1% growth is still quite impressive.
Google Home Mini to be replaced by better-sounding 'Nest Mini' this fall
These smart speaker stats are very misleading as they miss the elephant in the room, the fact that Amazon, Baidu and Google Assistant-enabled devices are trailing far behind Apple’s Siri ecosystem. People don’t buy cheap tinny Google, Baidu and Alexa smart "speakers" for their audio quality – they buy them for the voice assistant. However, smart speaker sales are utterly dwarfed by smartphone, computer and smartwatch sales and in those terms Apple has 1.5 billion Apple devices that put Siri on the wrists, pockets, laps and desks of the most lucrative demographic in the world both in and outside the home. As a result, Siri dominates the Voice Assistant market in terms of actual usage to the tune of 45.6% marketshare compared to Google Assistant on 28.7%, Alexa on 13.2%, Samsung’s Bixby on 6.2% and Microsoft’s Cortana on 4.9%.
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