Baidu surges past Google in global smart speaker sales, becoming the new #2 behind Amazon Echo – 10minmail


Inside Baidu’s new office in Bellevue, Wash. (Baidu Photo)

Baidu is now the No. 2 smart speaker seller in the world, roaring past Google and trailing only Amazon.

According to a new study from Canalys, Baidu shipped 4.5 million speakers in the second quarter, good for 17.3 percent market share. Google sold 4.3 million speakers, giving it 16.7 percent of the market.

Though they’re jockeying for the No. 2 spot in the smart speaker race, Google and Baidu don’t compete directly. Baidu’s devices are only available in China, and Google’s smart speakers aren’t sold there.

(Canalys Chart)

Amazon led the way with 6.6 million shipments in the second quarter, giving it 25.4 percent share of the global market. Alibaba, 4.1 million units sold, and Xiaomi, 2.8 million shipments, both captured more than 10 percent market share.

The “other” category, which includes the Apple HomePod, accounted for 3.7 million sales in the second quarter, or roughly 14 percent of the market.

Baidu, which opened an engineering office in the Seattle area nearly two years ago, entered the smart speaker market in 2017, but it wasn’t until last year, with the release of its Xiaodu devices, that the division took off. Since then, it has disrupted the smart speaker duopoly in China led by Alibaba and Xiaomi.

Baidu smart speaker sales spiked 3,700 percent in the last year, while Alibaba and Xiaomi saw growth of 38.8 percent and 37.5 percent respectively. Google sales actually declined nearly 20 percent year-over-year, while Amazon’s shipments rose 61.1 percent.

(Canalys chart)

Smart speaker sales in China doubled in the second quarter versus the prior year, with 12.6 million units sold. That’s more than twice the sales in the U.S., where shipments actually declined 2.4 percent over the prior year to 6.1 million.

With the U.S. market slowing, Canalys reports that both Amazon and Google are looking abroad to juice sales. International sales made up 50 percent of Amazon’s shipments in the second quarter, up from 32 percent the prior year. About 55 percent of Google smart speaker sales occurred outside the U.S., compared to 42 percent a year ago.

“Amazon and Google are focused on growing their business outside the U.S.,” said Canalys Senior Analyst Jason Low. “Google’s transition to the Nest branding while pivoting to smart displays proved to be a challenge, especially as it has begun rolling out its Nest Hub smart display globally. Google urgently requires a revamped non-display smart speaker portfolio to rekindle consumer interest, as well as a robust marketing strategy to build its Nest branding outside of the US.”




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