Baidu Overtakes Google To Become Number 2 in Global Smart Speaker Market

  • Baidu captured 17.3 percent of the global market share with 4.5 million shipments in Q2 of 2019.
  • Amazon remains the overall leader with more than 25 percent share of the market and 6.6 million shipments.
pic credits – Flickr

The global smart speaker market grew 55.4 percent in Q2 2019 to reach 26.1 million units, global market research firm Canalys said on Monday.

Amazon maintained the worldwide lead with over 25 percent market share and shipping 6.6 million units of its Echo smart speakers.

Baidu, despite serving only the China market, reached the second spot by growing a massive 3,700 percent and shipping 4.5 million units in Q2. Baidu captured 17.3 percent of the global market.

Baidu overtook Google which shipped 4.3 million Home units in the same quarter.

“Aggressive marketing and go-to-market campaigns built strong momentum for Baidu in China,” said Canalys research analyst Cynthia Chen.

Baidu overtook previous domestic leader Alibaba in the first quarter of this year in China, according to Canalys.

The Challenge Ahead

The US smart speaker market showed slight weakness, declining 2.4 per cent with a total of 6.1 million units shipped.

“Google and Amazon are focused on growing their business outside the US,” said Canalys senior analyst Jason Low.

Meanwhile, according to the report, vendors are facing the challenge of pivoting to more complex devices in the short term, with most vendors looking to integrate displays.

“Despite feeling upbeat about the market outlook, vendors are sensitive about the price sensitivity towards the relatively new category of smart displays. Experimentation with different price points and value propositioning strategies are to be expected,” noted Low.

However, uncovering new and unique use cases with a strong focus on voice-first interface on smart displays should be the top priority for vendors, he added.