Earlier this month Patently Apple posted a statistical report about Apple maintaining their lead in tablets globally. In that report we pointed out Amazon's tablet shipments dropped a whopping 49.5% Q1 2018.
In a new analytical report published today by Strategy Analytics we're able to see that Amazon's Echo shipments doubled year-over-year while their market share has plunged from 81.8% in Q1 2017 to 43.6% in Q1 2018. Google took the biggest bite out of Amazon's market share as they added new models this year. Apple and Alibaba are new to this sector and they were able to grab 13.6% together. Apple is shown to have shipped 600,000 units of HomePod.
Like Google, Apple may add a new tier of HomePod this year to encourage home owners to place them throughout their homes. A rumor posted in March claimed that Apple was going to launch a cheaper HomePod model this year.
However with Apple you never know. They may add a higher end unit and drop the price on the current model. With Apple supporting a "stereo" feature to HomePod, Apple may want to push selling the HomePod in pairs at a reduced combination price. Though as always, we'll just have to be patient to see how Apple alters their strategy to gain more traction for this smart home accessory.
David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics stated for the report that "Amazon and Google accounted for a dominant 70% share of global smart speaker shipments in Q1 2018 although their combined share has fallen from 84% in Q4 2017 and 94% in the year ago quarter. This is partly as a result of strong growth in the Chinese market for smart speakers where both Amazon and Google are currently absent. 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."
David Mercer, Vice President at Strategy Analytics added that "Further strong growth in smart speaker sales confirms our view that this new market is far more than just a flash in the pan. Today's smart speakers are by no means the finished article but they have captured the consumer imagination and we will see rapid evolution in design, functionality and associated use cases over the coming years. We are clearly heading towards to a time in the not too distant future when voice becomes a standard mode of technology interaction alongside established approaches like keyboard, mouse and touchscreen."
Samsung's Smart Speaker Coming in H2
Amazon's market share is likely to further get hit this year as Samsung releases their first smart speaker by August using Bixby 2.0.
It was reported in Korea today that "Gray G. Lee, head of the AI Center under Samsung Research said that the upcoming flagship Galaxy Note 9 will adopt an upgraded artificial intelligence platform, Bixby 2.0.
In a brief interview with Kim Hyun-seok, the chief of Samsung Electronics' home appliance division, he was asked when they planned to launch an AI speaker? Kim responded by stating that he couldn't reveal the exact schedule, but that it would be launched in the second half of this year. Kim further noted that the AI-based functions of the speaker wouldn't be different from those featured in other home appliances, including refrigerators.
With Samsung being the number one volume seller of smartphones, Samsung may be able to take another big bite out of Amazon's lead in the smart speaker sector for the 2018 holiday quarter.
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