Amazon stays as the market leader in the smart speaker market, while runner-up Google is closing in in the race, according to a report by research firm Strategy Analytics.
The report found that Amazon shipped 4.8 million smart speakers in Q2 2018, grabbing 41% of the global market share. Google got the second place, shipping 3.2 million devices and grabbing 27.6% of the market share.
Just one year ago, Amazon had 75.8% of the market share while Google had 16.1%. The number shows that the search giant is catching up fast with its Google Home speakers.
Alibaba, the e-commerce giant in China, got the third place, with 800,000 units shipped and 7% of the global market share. The company was followed by Apple (5.9%) and JD.com (0.3%).
Overall, around 11.7 million smart speakers were shipped between April and June this year.
“Apple has established an early lead in the premium smart speaker market, benefiting from a fiercely loyal fan base and strong momentum behind its Apple Music service,” said David Mercer, vice president of Strategy Analytics, in the report.
“We expect the higher end smart speaker market to grow and become much more competitive moving forwards as vendors such as Samsung with its Galaxy Home speaker look to capitalize on the growing acceptance of voice as an established control mechanism,” Mercer added.
Although Amazon pioneered in the smart speaker market by introducing Echo devices powered by Alexa, the company cannot stop other companies from entering the space and grabbing a share. Google, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung soon joined the fray in various countries and languages, while Alibaba and JD.com competed in the Chinese region.
In the first quarter of 2018, according to research firm Canalys, Google took the lead in smart speaker shipment, instead of Amazon, for the first time. Amazon re-gained the leadership position in the last quarter, according to the latest data.
According to a report from market researcher NPD, smart speaker sales will see a 50% dollar growth this year, adding US$1.6 billion in sales by 2019.