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Conflicting reports can't decide if Google is or isn't the top smart speaker vendor

Two sets of stats make it unclear which company is actually in the lead, but both sets paint some clear pictures.

Published onAugust 20, 2018

  • Smart speaker shipments for Q2 2018 are in at two different analytics firms.
  • One firm says Google is in the lead and another says Amazon still dominates the market.
  • Both sets of stats make it clear that Google is gaining on Amazon — and that China is gaining on both companies.

Prestigious analytics firm Canalys just posted its report on smart speaker shipments for the second quarter of 2018. While shipments of a product and sales of the product are two different things, shipment numbers can give us a good idea of how market share is divvied up between companies.

According to Canalys, Google is now the clear king of the smart speaker market with a 32.3 percent market share from 5.4 million shipments of Google Home hardware. This represents a whopping 449 percent growth from this time last year.

The same report shows Amazon in second place globally with 24.5 percent market share based on 4.1 million Echo products shipped. This time last year, according to Canalys, Amazon had a whopping 82.3 percent market share — which makes this year’s numbers a considerable drop.

A chart from Canalys showing numbers of smart speaker shipments in Q2 2018.

With all that in mind, it seems pretty clear that Google is now the top vendor in the smart speaker market and Amazon is eating its dust.

However, not all is what it seems, as another prestigious analytics firm — Strategy Analytics — has some numbers that contradict Canalys’ findings.

Has Google overtaken Amazon to become the number one smart speaker platform?
The Google Home smart speaker

According to Strategy Analytics, Amazon is still top dog with 41 percent of the market in Q2 2018 while Google languishes in second place with only 28 percent of the market.

These wildly different numbers reflect a similar disparity that the two organizations reported in Q1 2018. With such conflicting information, it’s hard to know which company really is in the lead.

However, both reports do agree on two major points. The first is that Google is gaining market share at a rapid pace while Amazon is steadily losing ground. Whether or not Google truly is the number one vendor right now is in dispute, but it’s pretty clear from both reports that Google is growing while Amazon is shrinking.

The other major point the companies agree on is that both Amazon and Google are losing considerable market share to China. Just look at the graph below (from Canalys) which shows how China is gobbling away at the two companies’ piece of the pie:

A chart from Canalys showing numbers of smart speaker shipments in Q2 2018.

What do you think? Is Amazon still in the lead or is Google now top dog? Let us know in the comments!