The big picture: Chinese technology company Baidu managed to dismount Google as the world’s second largest smart speaker vendor in the second quarter. It's an impressive feat although because the two companies cater to mutually exclusive markets, it's not really a true apples to apples comparison. Still, there's reason for concern within the Google camp.
Market analyst firm Canalys said Baidu shipped 4.5 million smart speakers during the three-month period, besting the 4.3 million units that Google moved. Amazon with its Echo line of smart speakers topped all others with 6.6 million units shipped worldwide in Q2.
Baidu reentered the market in Q2 of last year but only serves the Chinese market. Even still, the company turned in impressive annual growth of 3,700 percent. The global smart speaker market as a whole grew 55.4 percent in Q2 to reach 26.1 million units shipped, Canalys said.
Breaking it down further, we see that the smart speaker market is exploding in China as quarterly shipments nearly doubled in the country to 12.6 million units. In the US, meanwhile, shipments were down 2.4 percent to a total of 6.1 million units.
Canalys Senior Analyst Jason Low said Google’s transition to the Nest branding while pivoting to smart displays proved to be a challenge. Shipments declined year-over-year by 19.8 percent, the only company in the top six not to experience growth.
“Google urgently requires a revamped non-display smart speaker portfolio to rekindle consumer interest,” Low added.
Masthead credit: Google Home Mini by CoinUp