About 38.5 million smart speakers shipped during in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to smart speaker sales data from Strategy Analytics.
The leading vendor was Amazon, with shipments of 13.7 million units during the fourth quarter of 2018 and a market share of 35.5%. Its third-quarter shipments were 7.2 million and its market share 31.8%. Its growth between the third and fourth quarters was 91%.
Google shipped 11.5 million units in the fourth quarter and had a market share of 30%. It shipped 5.2 million units in the previous quarter and had a 22.8% market share. Its quarter-over-quarter growth was 123%.
Smart Speaker Sales
The vendors combined shipped 86.2 million units during 2018 – and, during the fourth quarter alone, shipped more units than during 2017 as a whole.
The stars of the fourth quarter were Amazon and Google. Amazon was led by the Echo Dot and Google by the Home Mini. Other top venders were Alibaba, Baidu, Xiaomi and Apple.
“The major technology vendors have done a great job at establishing the voice assistant market and our research shows that users are highly satisfied with the way smart speakers are improving their daily lives,” Strategy Analytics Vice President David Mercer said in a press release. “Now comes the question of how to monetize the user base and it will be interesting to see how each player addresses this challenge. The first step will be to encourage wider and more frequent use of apps and services via smart speakers that carry a revenue generation opportunity for the device OEM or platform provider. Voice shopping and ad-insertion are obvious examples but the industry must address the data security and privacy concerns of smart speaker users before these become viable revenue streams.”
The smart speaker category has been getting louder for a while. Last June, IDC predicted that 549.5 million smart devices, including smart speakers and other devices, would ship in 2018. That number – an increase of 26.8% compared to 2017 – was to be led by smart speakers and video entertainment products. The two categories would represent 71% of the total. The two also are predicted to have a compound annual growth rate of 12% through 2022.