Amazon has reportedly lost its smart speaker dominance

The Google Home can apparently dress for any occasion.
The Google Home can apparently dress for any occasion.
Image: AP Photo/Eric Risberg
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Google has found its groove in the smart speaker market, nearly doubling the number of devices it shipped in the last year to 5.4 million units, and eclipsing Amazon—which shipped 4.1 million during the same time period.

The worldwide smart-speaker market is still seeing massive growth, with 187% more units than in the second quarter of 2017, according to a report from the market-research firm Canalys. And it’s not just Google and Amazon shipping in mass quantities: Chinese companies have seen strong growth, capturing nearly 30% of the market in the last year. Apple, which produces the HomePod, did not make the list.

Chinese companies Alibaba and Xiaomi captured the third- and fourth-place slots on the leaderboard, shipping roughly 3 million and 2 million smart speakers respectively. The two account for more than 90% market share in China, Canalys reports.

Global trade has been a hallmark of the last year’s growth, with Europe and Asia counting for 68% of Amazon’s growth and 58% of Google’s, as the companies increase the number of languages their devices support. This could be a sign that the US market is starting to get saturated, as recent updates of Amazon’s speakers have offered few incentives to upgrade. After all, consumers generally just use their smart speakers for playing music, setting timers, and getting the weather.