Who is winning the battle of the smart speakers?

Amazon's global smart speaker share drops below 50 percent in first quarter

With the market seeing strong year-over-year growth David Mercer, vice president at Strategy Analytics noted the smart speaker market is proving to be resilient and not a one-hit wonder type of product.

Google shipped 2.4 million speakers in the quarters, from 0.3 million the year before. As you can see from the table below it pretty much owned the smart speaker market a year ago, but the situation is very different today.

According to the latest quarterly research from Strategy Analytics, global smart speaker shipments reached 9.2 million units in Q1 2018. The retail giant secured 43.6 percent market share that, while down from a whopping 81.8 percent of the market past year, easily topped the space.

Apple sold close to 600,000 HomePods in the same period.

David Watkins, the Director at Strategy Analytics highlighted that Amazon and Google accounted for almost 70% 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.

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Amazon, of course, was the first mover in this market with its Alexa-driven speakers sold aggressively through its own dominant retail channel.

With 43.6 per cent market share, Amazon shipped an impressive four million smart speakers during the quarter though its global market share almost halved from the same period in 2017. Amazon was still the top contender, with shipments rising to 4 million from 2 million, but its market share nearly halved as competition in the sector heated up with the entrance of Alibaba, Apple and Xiaomi. Meanwhile, Alphabet's (GOOG) Google market share stood at 26.5%, up from 12.4%, while Alibaba (BABA), the Chinese e-commerce leader gained market share of 7.6% in its first year with a device on the market.

Google and Alibaba consolidated their number two and three rankings while Apple became the fourth largest smart speaker brand worldwide following the launch of the HomePod in February 2018.

This means Apple has a long way to go in catching up with Amazon and Google.

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