The global smart speaker market grew 55.4% in the second quarter to reach 26.1 million shipments, according to a new report from Canalys. Amazon continued to lead the race, accounting for 6.6 million units shipped in the quarter. Google, however, fell to the third spot as China’s Baidu surged ahead. Baidu in Q2 grew a sizable 3,700% to reach 4.5 million units, overtaking Google’s 4.3 million units shipped.
“Google’s transition to the Nest branding while pivoting to smart displays proved to be a challenge, especially as it has begun rolling out its Nest Hub smart display globally,” Canalys senior analyst Jason Low said in the report. “Google urgently requires a revamped non-display smart speaker portfolio to rekindle consumer interest as well as a robust marketing strategy to build its Nest branding outside of the U.S.”
China’s market overall doubled its quarterly shipments to 12.6 million units, or more than twice the U.S.’s 6.1 million total. The latter represents a slight (2.4%) decline since the prior quarter.
Baidu’s growth in the quarter was attributed to aggressive marketing and go-to-market campaigns. It was particularly successful in terms of smart displays, which accounted for 45% of the products it shipped.
Google’s attention as of late has been on making it easier for device manufacturers to integrate with Google Assistant technology, in addition to its increased focus on smart displays.