According to research conducted by Canalys, Chinese search and tech giant Baidu has usurped Google as the number two smart speaker vendor globally.
Baidu saw insane year-on-year growth of 3,700 percent, which has seen them overtake Google in the global standings, although they still lag behind the global leader Amazon. Globally the smart speaker market grew by an impressive 55.4% in Q2 2019 with 26.1 million units shipped (via The Verge).
The Chinese firm shipped 4.5 million units alone in the second quarter of 2019. Meanwhile, Amazon shipped 6.6 million Alexa-powered or supported smart speakers. Google saw a growth dip of 19 percent year-on-year with global shipments of 4.3 million units.
While Baidu’s smart speaker growth is no doubt impressive, it’s worth noting that the company does not sell any of its smart speaker products outside of China. Google and Amazon are able to sell their own branded smart speakers everywhere but China.
Baidu runs its own AI platform known as DuerOS, on a number of products created by the firm. By targeting the budget end of the market with its $12 Xiaodu smart speaker, Baidu has been able to see this staggering growth. Given that Chinese smart home tech is limited to a few Chinese firms such as Huawei and Baidu, the shipment figures are more understandable.
Despite losing its second-place position, Google is still able to roll out product lines across the globe much more readily, with the Google Nest Hub officially going on sale in India today for 9,999 rupees. Gadget360 also reports that Google is bundling the Nest Hub with the popular Xiaomi Mi Security camera system as a launch promotion to help bolster early sales in the region.
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