Amazon Losing Its Grip On Smart Speaker Market As Google Registers 709% YoY Growth In Q1 2018: REPORT

Must Read

Facebook Reveals Big Plans Behind The WhatsApp JioMart Integration In India

After Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) acquired a minority stake of 9.99% in Jio Platforms for a whopping $5.7 billion in...

Facebook Launches Music Videos to Eat into YouTube’s Market

With the launch of Music Videos, Facebook has made another competitive move against its biggest opponent, Google.

Microsoft To Acquire TikTok In the US?

The rumours are making rounds that Microsoft may acquire TikTok to keep the popular short video sharing...

The smart speaker wars are raging as the market is getting more competitive with every passing month.

Amazon was the first to start the craze with its Alexa-powered Echo smart speakers but now its grip on the voice-enabled AI speakers market is slipping due to the rise of big shots such as Google and Apple with their own offerings. Besides, Chinese giants like Alibaba and Xiaomi are also getting a rapt response in the segment in the home market and they are most likely responsible for undercutting the sales of top players.

Amazon has doubled the shipment of its smart speakers in the last one year, to an impressive 4 million smart speakers in Q1 2018. Though the 102% YoY growth is a commendable performance by Amazon, it also indicates that the surging competition has cut its global smart speaker share nearly in half from the same period last year, according to a recent report from Strategy Analytics.



Meanwhile, Google is closing the gap with Amazon and managed to ship 2.4 million units of its Home smart speakers during the same period, putting it in the second position with a market share of 26.5%. Google has recorded a strong 709% YoY growth and the credit largely goes to the AI smarts of the Google Assistant. In the latest Google I/O show, CEO-Sundar Pichai depicted the jaw-dropping capabilities of the Assistant. When those updates are deployed in its smart speakers, it could pose a serious threat to every other player in the segment, especially the market leader Amazon.


Alibaba has leapfrogged Apple to acquire the third position on the list. Apple could manage to ship 600,000 units of its HomePod and stood at the fourth position, followed by Xiaomi that shipped 200,000 units of its Mi AI smart speakers.

Alibaba And Xiaomi Reign In China

Alibaba’s flagship smart speakers Tmall Genie X1 was launched in July last year and has sold 2 million units in China so far. Ali Genie, the brains behind Genie X1 and the first generation Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) system, runs on cloud and understands Mandarin as China is the only market where it is available. Alexa and Google Assistant enjoy an advantage here. Alexa can recognize French, German, Japanese, and 5 variations of English. Google Assistant, on the other hand, will be able to support 30 languages – including French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Hindi, etc – by the end of this year.

Xiaomi’s Mi AI range of speakers have been making waves in China. It supports intelligent voice-controlled assistant and smart home integration and costs nearly half of Echo and Home. The latest Mi AI Speaker Mini provides access to over 35 million books and songs. Xiaomi’s home products are also getting Google Assistant integration which will allow users to control its smart speakers and smart home devices with the Assistant.

According to Strategy Analytics, the global smart speakers’ shipments reached 9.2 million in Q1 2018. The whopping 278% YoY growth compared to the same period last year indicates that the market is far more than just a flash in the pan.


“Amazon and Google accounted for a dominant 70% share of global smart speaker shipments in Q1 2018 although their combined share has fallen from 84% in Q4 2017 and 94% in the year ago quarter. This is partly as a result of strong growth in the Chinese market for smart speakers where both Amazon and Google are currently absent. Alibaba and Xiaomi are leading the way in China and their strength in the domestic market alone is proving enough to propel them into the global top five,” commented David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics.

The performance of an ideal smart speaker needs to go beyond audio enhancements and sound quality. The most vital role is played by the voice-enabled AI assistant. Apple is well-aware of this in the wake of the cold response of its HomePod due to the delusional reactions from its digital assistant Siri. Amazon is also prepping up the AI smarts of Alexa to retain its dominance. Google Assistant’s incredible capabilities are soon to be seen in near future. Alibaba’s Ali Genie has received a significant upgrade and it is being called Ali Genie 2.0. It will enable visual recognition capabilities allowing Tmall Genie to identify various objects. The ‘sight’ skill will enable recognizing different medicine bottles and be reading bedtime stories to children.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Microsoft Aims Global Acquisition Of TikTok, Including India!

It seems like TikTok can finally shed its Chinese origin from all over the world.

Will Google’s Move To Delete 2,500 YouTube Channels Add Fuel To The Fire With China?

The US-China trade war has started rearing its ugly head. Both sides are now turning to extreme measures on the digital front...

Will You Buy iPhone 12 Pro At US$20,500?

if you are suspecting any typo error here, you are highly mistaken! The price of iPhone 12 Pro is US$ 20,500 now...

Google Is Shutting Down Google Play Music

Google Play Music will soon be buried in Google's graveyard. The company has announced that by December the service will be completely...

The Lawsuit That Could Force Apple To Exit China Market

It seems like China is now turning up the heat and is ready to take some really hostile measures after being worn...

Global eCommerce Sales to Reach $3.9 Trillion in 2020 [REPORT]

As the coronavirus pandemic has lead healthcare authorities to discourage physical social contact as much as possible, the most popular mode of...

In-Depth: Dprime

Facebook Subscription Model: Looking Beyond Ad Dollars?

Seldom do job listings create a stir this gripping. However, when the job listing in question is a stealth post from Twitter,...

Will The Online Food Delivery Market in India End Up Becoming A Two-Horse Race?

It's pretty much evident that the food delivery space in India is all set to get riled up soon enough as one...

Fantastic 4: Four Day Work Week A Flashpoint Of Innovation?

It has been an idea that has been mooted by many, perhaps also somewhat sceptically. From being a dark horse to becoming...

More Articles Like This