Google Home Beats Amazon Echo for Second Straight Quarter in Smart Speaker Shipments, Echo Sales Fall
- Google Home commanded the largest smart speaker share globally with 32.3% of shipments compared to 24.5% for Amazon Echo and 17.7% for Alibaba Tmall Genie in Q2 2018
- This marks the second straight quarter that global Google Home sales have outpaced Amazon Echo and the first quarter that Echo has shown a year-over-year decline.
- Total worldwide smart speaker sales volume expanded 187% between Q2 2017 and Q2 2018
Canalys has a new report out today showing that Google Home sold 5.43 million smart speakers worldwide in the second quarter of 2018. Those sales gave Google nearly one-third of global smart speaker sales compared to 24.5% and 4.12 million units for the Amazon Echo product line. In Q2 2017, the market share breakdown was very different. Amazon Echo commanded 82.3% market share whereas Google Home only captured 16.9% according to Canalys. This is a dramatic year-over-year reversal.
The April to June period also represents the second straight quarter that Canalys has reported Google Home shipments outpaced those for Amazon Echo. In the first quarter of 2018, Canalys reported that Google Home accounted for 36.2% of smart speaker shipments compared to 27.7% for Amazon Echo. Both manufacturers lost about 3% share in the second quarter whereas Alibaba gained about 6% and Xiaomi rose about 5%. All other manufacturers lost about 4% share.
Amazon Echo Shows Year-over-Year Sales Decline
Smart speaker shipment data tell a story of growth for all manufactures except for one, Amazon. Google retreated market share from Q1 but still managed to sell about two million more units in Q2 and rise 450% over the same period in 2017. Amazon sold 660,000 more units than in Q1 2018, but about 14% fewer than in Q2 2017 when there was less competition. Overall, Canalys estimates total smart speaker sales in Q2 2018 were 187% higher than in Q2 2017. As the market pioneer, Amazon is feeling the effects of global expansion and heightened competition more acutely than its fast-following peers.
It is likely that Sonos One and Apple HomePod sales are hurting Amazon more than Google. That may be due in part to Amazon’s lack of a high-end smart speaker in its portfolio. With that said, it is important to note that all Sonos One sales today have Alexa onboard. So, the total market share by smart speaker-based voice assistants is likely much closer to parity and Amazon still maintains a large market share lead over Google in the U.S.
Why Google is Growing Faster than Amazon
Three factors are driving Google’s faster growth compared to Amazon. First, Google already had a number of localized language models built-out to support Android smartphone use cases ranging from navigation to voice search. Second, that library of partially or fully built-out language models has helped Google Assistant be ready to enter many countries much earlier than Amazon Alexa. As of July 2018, Google Home was already available in 14 countries compared to just 11 for Amazon Echo.
|Country||Amazon Echo||Google Home||Apple HomePod|
|Australia||Feb 2018||2017||Feb 2018|
|France||Jun 2018||2017||Jun 2018|
|Ireland||Jan 2018||Jun 2018|
|Italy||TBD 2018||Apr 2018|
|Mexico||TBD 2018||Jun 2018|
|New Zealand||Feb 2018|
|Spain||TBD 2018||Jun 2018|
|United Kingdom||2016||2017||Feb 2018|
|United States||2014||2016||Feb 2018|
Third, global growth has shifted outside the U.S. where Amazon Echo is strongest. Only 16% of the new volume growth came from the U.S. in Q2 2018. Canalys reports that 68% of Amazon Echo shipments were in the U.S. compared to just 58% for Google Home. Google’s lower dependence on the domestic market offers it better growth prospects as smart speaker volume rises outside the U.S. You can read the full announcement here.