If we think of the smart speaker we’re thinking of Alexa or Google Home, right? In fact, in the age of the Internet of Things, it is China that has a greater demand and market for these smart home devices.
According to Canalys, global smart speaker shipments experienced upheaval in Q1 2019, with the US and China swapping spots as the largest shipment market.
The May 20th 2019 report gives a good overview.
- In recent months, Baidu, Alibaba and Xiamoi have all seen incredible gains, fueling China’s faster growth in this sector.
The company said shipments in China reached 10.6 million units, driven by “festive promotions.” China’s mobile and e-commerce superiority is spilling over mainly into voice-AI and consumer demand for smart speakers.
This means that China will not only have more innovation in apps in 2019, but also in voice trade.
Despite recent loss trouble, Baidu had a huge quarter on its New Year’s Gala on Chinese New Year’s Eve thanks to an exclusive sponsorship deal with China’s national TV channel, CCTV — one of the biggest entertainment shows in terms of viewer numbers.
The global smart speakers market was valued at US$ 4.30 Bn in 2017 and will be growing at a CAGR of 26.4% during the forecast period from 2018 to 2026.According to Acute Market Reports Inc.
To date, China Overtakes the U.S. in Smart Speakers & Voice Commerce
2019 has been an epic year for smart speakers in China. In Q1 2019, China’s smart speaker shipments grew by 500 percent to overtake the US and reach a market share of 51 per cent.
In Q1 2019, China’s smart speaker shipments grew by 500 percent to overtake the US and reach a market share of 51 per cent.
For smart speakers, this is a radical change on the global market.
This means that China now accounts for more than half of the global smart speaker market, at 51%. The U.S. share dropped from 44% to just 24%.
While voice trade in the U.S. has not “taken off,” this does not seem to be the case in China.
In Q1, Baidu shipped 3.3 million speakers— putting it third behind Amazon’s 4.6 million and Google’s 3.5 million. With 3.2 million shipments each, Alibaba and Xiaomi followed, also driven by Chinese New Year promotions.
Apple a major failure in space, Facebook is Non-Existent
Apple has been such a failure in this regard, the Q1 2019 Canalys data relegates Apple’s smart speaker to part of the Other category.
Amazon still leads the market with a share of 22.1 percent thanks to its low-cost Echo Dot speakers. However, given the change in markets, whoever emerges as China’s leader will pretty soon overtake them. In 2018 & 2019, smart speaker penetration is increasing at staggering rates globally.
It’s enough to imagine the smart speaker as the “next devices” between the mobile phone and the neural interface coming in decades if not years.
With 10.6 million units, China topped the U.S. (which had 5 million units shipped) and brought its market share to 51 percent, while the U.S. dropped from 44 percent in Q4 2018 to 24 percent in Q1 2019. Mostly because the U.S. had a few years of head start in the race.
Overall, the global smart speaker market returned to a triple-digit annual growth rate of 131 percent in the quarter, reaching 20.7 million total Q1 shipments— up from just 9 million in the first quarter of 2018. It’s just a testament to the increasing importance of artificial intelligence as the consumer interface with the AI-Voice interaction.
Personally, I have both a Google Home and an Echo, but if they have unique value proposals, I could see myself getting more devices.
For the first time, Baidu overtook the market and it shows just how good they are in artificial intelligence and not just in search, advertising and app products. Baidu’s brilliant move was to strike an exclusive sponsorship deal with CCTV, the national TV channel, at its New Year’s Gala on Chinese New Year’s Eve, which is China’s largest entertainment show in terms of spectator numbers.
So far for 2019, Chinese smart speaker makers Alibaba, Baidu, and Xiaomi all experienced meteoric growth in Q1 2019 at the end of the day.
As the US smart speaker market begins to leave its growth stage and enter a maturity stage, the growth phase of China may last the better part of the next decade as it has so many more consumers. Therefore, China’s version of the IoT and artificial intelligence aligned with e-commerce will be more interesting to watch.