Smart speaker shipments totaled 78 million devices globally last year, an increase of 125% from the previous year, according to a new report by Canalys.
Amazon was the leader by one percentage point, shipping 24 million Echo devices while Google shipped 23 million Google Home speakers. The other smart speaker leaders after Amazon and Google were Alibaba, Xiaomi and Baidu, which ship only in China
“Amazon’s well-timed Echo lineup refresh, focusing on improved sound and aesthetics, proved popular during the holiday season, and helped Amazon grow 31% in Q4,” stated Canalys senior analyst Jason Low. “With the updated Echo range already in place for 2019, Amazon is expected to switch gears to extend Alexa’s reach into areas such as automobiles via developers and ecosystem device vendors. Third parties that support Alexa are eagerly pursuing money-making and growth opportunities.”
For smart home hub displays, the Google Home Hub has a short-term advantage at $149, according to Canalys. Overall smart display shipments reached 6 million units last year, accounting for 8% of the total smart speaker market.