Amazon feels squeeze as Google and Apple make gains — Echo smart speaker

Amazon Echo Plus smart speaker

Amazon Echo Plus smart speaker

"Amazon and Google accounted for a dominant 70 percent share of global smart speaker shipments in Q1 2018, although their combined share has fallen from 84 percent in Q4 2017 and 94 percent in the year ago quarter", Strategy Analytics director David Watkins said in a release.

The shipment of smart speakers more than tripled to 9.2 million in the first quarter, from 2.4 million the year before. Meanwhile, Google's marketshare increased dramatically from 12.4 percent to 26.5 percent.

The squeeze isn't just the result of the growing popularity of Google's smart speakers, or indeed the arrival of Apple's HomePod speaker in February, but also because of a surge in interest among consumers in China, who're flocking to smart speakers made by local tech firms such as Xiaomi and Alibaba. According to the reports, the global smart speaker market had a remarkable growth of 806% compared to the same quarter past year, with an overall shipment of 9.2 million units. Neither Amazon nor Google are present on the Chinese market, which saw strong growth in the quarter, explaining the decline in their global market shares.

"Alibaba and Xiaomi are leading the way in China and their strength in the domestic market alone is proving enough to propel them into the global top five", he added. While its 4 million unit shipments are impressive, it's certainly evident that it will have to do more to keep up with its newfound competition.

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The full report with comprehensive market breakdown is available at this link.

What's more, Strategy Analytics' figures are just estimates, and with Apple yet to cough on exact sales figures, it's still unclear exactly how numerous bin-like, Siri-powered speakers have been sold.

However, the smart speaker landscape will soon be going through a shift as there is no guarantee that Amazon will retain the lead coming to the end of the year.

That said, there are rumblings that Apple in the future may roll out a more affordable version of the HomePod in the $150 range.

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