Research firm Canalys has published its latest figures on the smart-speakers market, focusing on shipments in the third quarter of 2018. It says they grew by 137% year-on-year to 19.7m units, which puts the market on track for 75m smart-speaker shipments (not ‘sales’ exactly – but shipments to retailers) for 2018 as a whole.
Earlier this year, Canalys made headlines with its claim that Google Home speakers outsold Amazon Echos in the first quarter. Now it says that Amazon has regained the initiative. “Amazon shipped 6.3m Echo smart speakers in Q3, reclaiming the top spot after two quarters of playing second fiddle to Google. This quarter, Google shipped 5.9m units,” claimed Canalys.
China looms large though: between them, Amazon and Google accounted for 61.7% of global smart-speaker shipments in Q3, down from 99.3% a year ago. And that’s partly because third and fourth-placed manufacturers Alibaba and Xiaomi grew their combined share from 0.2% to 20.8%. While the US remains the biggest market for smart speakers (42.1% of shipments in Q3), China is the second biggest, with a 29.4% share.