The latest report by Canalys states that the smart speaker industry grew 55.4% in the second quarter, reaching 26.1 million shipments globally. According to this report, Amazon continued to lead the race, which accounted for 6.6 million units shipped in the 2nd quarter. Unfortunately, Google fell to the third spot as China’s Baidu surged ahead. Keep reading to learn why Google’s smart speaker experienced this plunge.
Why was Google outranked?
In Q2, Baidu grew a sizable 3,700%. Owing to this rapid growth, it reached 4.5 million units and overtook Google by 200000 units. Sources claim that China’s market overall doubled its quarterly shipments to 12.6 million units, or more; which is twice the US’s 6.1 million total. The US market represents a slight (2.4%) decline since the prior quarter.
How did China’s Baidu step ahead in the race?
The main reasons behind Baidu’s growth in the quarter were its aggressive marketing and go-to-market campaigns. What worked for this brand was its smart displays, which accounted for 45% of the products it shipped.
Canalys Research Analyst Cynthia Chen reported that “local network operators’ interests in the smart display device category rose recently. Thanks to this, Baidu faced little to no competition in this display category. Due to this, the company was able to dominate in the operator channel.
Google’s way ahead
Considering Google’s current standing in the smart speaker market, the report suggested that it should introduce a revamped smart speaker portfolio. This will help rekindle consumer interest. Right from the functionality to the design, the Google Home device hasn’t been updated since launch. It still sports the air freshener-style looks it had back in 2016. All Google did to this device was change its colour, which honestly didn’t make much difference.
What can Google learn from other brands?
When it comes to the leading smart speaker brand, Amazon has updated its Echo line of speakers several times. Plus, it has expanded Alexa to devices with screens like the Echo Spot and Show, and to those without like the Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Auto. The latest upgrade by this brand was Alexa’s integration in clocks and microwaves. Hopefully, in the next quarter, Google will revise its strategies and gain momentum.
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