Google is expanding its line of Assistant-powered devices with its own smart display, at least according to Nikkei. The tech giant has reportedly told its Taiwanese manufacturing partners to gear up and make sure they can deliver, because it's planning to take its competition with Amazon up a notch. Mountain View, the report says, will launch its own take on the smart display platform it recently debuted this upcoming holiday season. Its plans could even be more aggressive than that, because Nikkei's source said the company is aiming to "ship some 3 million units for the first batch of the new model of smart speaker that comes with a screen." Google unveiled its Assistant-powered smart display technology at CES earlier this year, demonstrating its ability to do what smart speakers can with the added benefit of being able to show things on a screen.
These days, just about every smart home gadget works with Google Assistant or Amazon's Alexa. And, for the most part, Google Assistant and Alexa can do many of the same things--like give you the weather forecast, play music, read the news, and so much more. But, when you compare Alexa and Google Assistant head to head, which intelligent personal assistant is smarter? We took a deep dive into the nitty-gritty of both Alexa and Google Assistant to find out which smart assistant knows--and can do--more. The Hub Max comes with Google Assistant, so you can check the weather, watch recipe videos, control your smart home, and more.
Lenovo will start shipping the first Google Assistant smart display this weekend, marking the birth of a new range of products that could eventually include some of Echo Show's staunchest rivals. Similar to what Echo Show does, Google's smart displays will give you a way to interact with the tech giant's voice assistant in a visual way. We first met the new devices at CES this year, where we were impressed with their ability to instantly display maps and send them to your phone when you ask for directions. Certainly beats listening and trying to visualize them. Here's another instance where a smart display can be much easier to use than a smart speaker: Assistant will also provide a step-by-step visual aid for recipes you look up that you can follow on screen.
Smart speakers continue to sell like hotcakes. That's according to Strategy Analytics, which today reported that in the fourth quarter of 2018, shipments of AI-imbued speakers grew 95 percent from 22.6 million units in Q3 to 38.5 million units -- more than the entire 2017 total. It brought the year-end tally to 86.2 million units. The massive fourth-quarter leap isn't too surprising -- a report released by Adobe during the Consumer Electronics Show in January last year found that nearly 76 percent of smart speaker sales occur during the holiday season. Still, it's reassuring evidence of growth in a consumer sector that, unlike the slowing smartphone market, is nowhere near the point of oversaturation.
The global smart speaker market is on the upswing, according to Canalys, which today released shipment estimates for the most recent fiscal quarter. The firm reports the segment grew 44% to reach 28.6 million units in Q3 2019, coinciding with substantial growth in the smart display category. Amazon shipped 10.4 million smart speakers in Q3 2019 for a 36.6% share of the market this quarter, up from 6.3 million units in Q3 2018 (a 31.9% That put it well ahead of rival Google, which managed to get 3.5 million devices out the door this quarter (for a 12.3% share) versus 5.9 million units in Q3 2018 (29.8%). As for Baidu and Alibaba, the latter notched 3.9 million units shipped in Q3 2019 (for a 13.6% share of the smart speaker market), up from 2.2 million in Q3 2018 (11.1%), while Baidu sold through to consumers 3.7 million units in Q3 2019 (for a 13.1% share), up from 1 million units in Q3 2018 (4.9%).