Amazon, Google and Baidu retained first three places...
Defying the impact of the pandemic, global sales of smart speakers in Q2 2020 rose to 30.0 million units, an increase of 6% compared to Q1, according to preliminary results from Strategy Analytics.
Amazon retained first place with a share of 21.6%, followed by Google (17.1%) and Baidu (16.7%). Chinese vendors recovered from a slow Q1, which was affected by pandemic-related issues in the Chinese market. Most US players, however, suffered from slower consumer demand in Q2 and saw sales declines. Strategy Analytics is predicting a stronger Q3 as more economies begin to recover, and global sales are on track to reach 161 million units for the full year.
Global smart speaker shipments reached 147 million units in 2019 and are forecast to grow a further 17% in 2020 to more than 170 million. The COVID-19 pandemic has inevitably had an impact on the market both from the supply side as a result of factory closures in China during Q1 and on the consumer demand front due to the ongoing economic fallout following the widespread lockdown measures. As a result, global smart speaker shipment levels in 2020 are expected to be 5% lower than our pre COVID-19 forecast.
However, the market has been better insulated against the crisis than many other major CE device categories due to the high proportion of sales that go through online channels but also as a result of cosnumers actively seeking out smart speaker and smart display products in order to facilitate communication with family and friends during the period of lockdown.
David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics, commented: “The pandemic continues to affect sales patterns around the world. Q2 demand in Asia-Pacific recovered from the drama of lockdown in Q1, but North American and European sales fell slightly quarter on quarter as those economies went into reverse. We are optimistic that recovery in these regions will mirror what we have seen in China and that the underlying popularity of smart speakers will propel the market to a positive outcome for the rest of the year.”
David Mercer, VP, Media and Interactive Home, added : “Smart speakers have not suffered as badly as major segments like smartphones, and Q1 supply issues are now largely resolved. Vendors should nevertheless take particular care with brand messaging as our research points to clear evidence that consumers are switching brands based on how companies respond to the pandemic.”