Google has surpassed Amazon in the smart speaker market. Meanwhile, Apple failed to make it to the list of the biggest players in the said market. Technology market analyst firm Canalys revealed Wednesday that based on its new research data, Google is now the top player in the smart speaker market after beating Amazon by a huge margin. Google recorded a significant jump from 19.3 percent market share in last year's first quarter to having 36.2 percent share in the first quarter of 2018. Amazon, on the other hand, was down from having 79.6 percent share in the January-March period of 2017 to just 27.7 percent in the same period this year.
More units of the Google Home sold in the second quarter than Amazon's Echo. Alexa, have you ceded the market to Google? Let's dive into the number and find out. According to the research firm Canalys, Google sold 5.4 million Google Home speakers in the quarter, compared to 4.1 million for Echo. It's the second quarter in a row that Echo took a backseat to Google.
A new report projects that the smart speaker market will continue its torrid growth, with Google and Amazon battling for dominance and Apple stuck in a distant third place. According to Canalys, the number of smart speakers in use will come close to 100 million by the end of 2018, up from under 50 million at the end of 2017. Canalys predicts the market will more than double again to hit 225 million units by 2020. Along the way, market leader Amazon will continue to see its market share slip, Canalys says. The firm gives Amazon Echo devices about 50 percent of the installed base in 2018, but by 2022 that is expected to fall to 34 percent.
Video: Will Apple's HomePod make it in a crowded smart speaker market? Apple shipped around 600,000 HomePod speakers in the first quarter of 2018, according to a new estimate of the smart-speaker market by Strategy Analytics. Apple, a latecomer to the field, is now the fourth-largest vendor by shipments, behind Amazon, Google and Alibaba. Despite quickly rising to fourth spot, Apple is still a long way behind Amazon and Google, which together account for 70 percent of the smart-speaker market. Leader Amazon doubled year-on-year shipments to four million smart speakers and took a 43.6 percent share of the 9.2 million units shipped this quarter by all vendors, according to Strategy Analytics.
Google could enter the high-end audio market with a new version of its Home speaker to compete with Apple and Amazon, just as the next generation of smart speakers begins to emphasize sound quality. The search giant is working on a large new smart speaker internally called the "Home Max," according to a report from 9to5Google. There isn't much info about the device available, as the sources didn't share any specs or design details -- but a new premium Home speaker makes complete sense when you think about it. Apple brings its luxe HomePod to the market in December, and Amazon just announced new Echo devices that are more focused on audio quality than previous generations. Google needs its own high-quality smart speaker to keep up.