Google Home has just been overtaken by an unexpected rival

Google Home is one of the most popular smart speakers around – the device comes in a number of different flavours that vary in price, form factor and features.

Until recently, Google had been the second largest smart speaker vendor in the world, behind only to Amazon that spearheaded the connected home movement back in 2014.

However, the Mountain View firm has now been overtaken by Baidu, a Chinese technology firm, according to a new report from Canalys.

Baidu, that only sells smart speakers in China, was said to have grown by 3,700 percent in the second quarter of 2019.

The Asian tech giant, that has been referred to as the Google of China, was noted to have shipped 4.5 million smart speaker units during the period.

In comparison, Google was noted to have shipped 4.3 million units during the same quarter.

Moreover, the American firm’s annual growth was said to have shrunk by 19.8 year percent year-over-year.

To demonstrate just how quickly Baidu has expanded – the company was said to have owned 0.7 percent of smart speaker market share in the second quarter of last year.

Canalys research analyst Cynthia Chen declared Baidu’s “aggressive marketing” played a huge part in its unprecedented growth.

She said: “Aggressive marketing and go-to-market campaigns built strong momentum for Baidu in China.

“The vendor stood out as a key driver of smart displays, to achieve 45 percent smart display product mix in its Q2 shipments.

“Local network operator’s interests on the device category soared recently. This bodes well for Baidu as it faces little competition in the smart display category, allowing the company to dominate the operator channel.”

Despite Baidu’s growth, Amazon was still noted to have firmly held the top spot in smart speaker shipments and market share.

The Seattle-based firm was said to have shipped a whopping 6.6 million smart speakers and had over a quarter of device market share with 25.4 percent.

Unlike Google, Amazon saw positive growth of 61.1 percent.

It is worth noting that Baidu and the American duo are not direct competitors as they do not operate primarily in the same territories – however they are rivals where global smart speaker market share is concerned.

Source link