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Amazon Moves Back to Top Spot for Q3 2018 Smart Speaker Sales – Canalys

  • Canalys says Amazon Echo led all smart speaker sales in Q3 2018, selling 6.3 million devices and capturing 31.9% market share
  • After besting Echo in Q1 and Q2, Google Home fell to second with 5.9 million units sold and 29.8% market share
  • Alibaba and Xiaomi continued their dominance in China and captured 11.1% and 9.7% of global smart speaker sales respectively
  • Canalys updated its 2018 smart speaker sales forecast to 75 million units, up 33% from a 56.3 million estimate from January 2018

Canalys, a U.K.-based market research firm, reported today that Amazon Echo reclaimed the top spot for Q3 2018 global smart speaker sales with 6.3 million units shipped. Google Home fell to second place selling 5.9 million units. Canalys earlier reported that Google Home devices outsold the Amazon Echo product line in both Q1 and Q2 2018, but Amazon returned to the number one position on the strength of Prime Day Sales in July. The media announcement states:

Google made pre-emptive strikes by lowering prices of its Home speakers in anticipation of Prime Day, but the shopping festival proved highly beneficial to Amazon.

The quarterly sales showed Amazon with 31.9% share to Google’s 29.8% and with Alibaba in third at 11.1% and Xiaomi with 9.7%. Other manufacturers accounted for 17.4% to shipments. The new sales figures represent a 137% rise over Q3 2017.

Trends Show Rapid Smart Speaker Growth, Erosion of Amazon Market Share

A few trends emerge when considering Canalys data released thus far in 2018. There is a steady march upward in quarterly smart speaker sales punctuated by Q4 for which Canalys has not officially released data, but other sources suggest was north of 20 million units sold globally. The rise begins again in Q1 2018 culminating in Q3 shipments of 19.7 million smart speakers, nearing the total for Q4 of 2017. Canalys reports that 45.5 million smart speakers have shipped thus far in 2018 compared to about 40 million in the full year 2017. The company forecasts that nearly 30 million units will ship in Q4 2018.

The other obvious trendline is the erosion of Amazon’s market share. Part of that is due to the rapid rise of smart speaker sales in China and Korea where Amazon Echo products are not sold. However, the bigger impact has been the torrid growth of Google Home smart speaker sales. Amazon sold 3.7 Echo smart speakers for every Google Home in 2017. This year Amazon has sold only 0.9 Echo devices for each Google Home. That means Google was eating into Amazon’s market share in Q1, Q2 and overall for 2018 despite coming up a bit short of Echo sales in Q3 2018.

Canalys Adjusts 2018 Smart Speaker Forecast Upwards by 33%

The latest data also suggests Canalys has adjusted its 2018 smart speaker forecast upwards by 33%. In January, Canalys published a global smart speaker sales forecast of 56.3 million units. The company now estimates total units sales for 2018 will be 75 million. That is the other trend we consistently see for smart speakers sales: analysts increasing their forecasts as new sales data that exceed expectations arrive each quarter. It seems clear that smart speakers are popular with consumers worldwide. You can read the official announcement from Canalys here.


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