Connected speakers: will Chinese technology giants be the new leaders?

In the connected speaker market, two giants have been competing for first place for a long time: Google and Amazon. But this situation could well be disrupted by the Chinese giant Baidu. According to the research firm Canalys, by being only present on its national market, managed to overtake Google in the second quarter of 2019.

China: conquering the connected speaker market

Already, in a previous report, Canalys revealed that, overall, China would outperform the United States in 2019 in the connected assistant market, ranking first. In the first quarter of 2019, China grew by almost 500% in the smart speaker market, with some 10.6 million products shipped.

Connected speakers: a market amid a metamorphosis

Has the US domination of the technology market come to an end? A new report from Canalys with edifying results confirms that we are at the turn of a new era, at least on the home automation side. With more than 200 million connected speakers sold in 2019 according to the specialist’s estimates, everyone naturally wants their share of the cake.

Amazon remains the leader, with a 25.4% market share for connected speakers. But the most exciting thing is not the confirmation of Amazon’s place at the top of the top, but the incredible breakthrough of the Chinese manufacturer Baidu. The latter is expected to grow by an estimated 3,700%, replacing Google, its Google Home, and other Google Home Mini.

Google and connected speakers: should the American web giant be worried?

Thus, according to Canalys’ latest report, Baidu, based in Beijing, is taking over the connected speaker market. In all, it would be some 4.5 million products shipped, and this only in the second quarter of 2019, representing 17.3% of the market share.

Baidu’s exceptional growth is the result of a precise and efficient economic strategy, driven by low-cost product launches. It was the case with the Xiaodu connected speaker launched at only 249 yuan, just under 32 euros, then offered at 89 yuan or about 11 euros. We will see if if this will be sustainable in the long term.

Baidu has developed an aggressive commercial strategy to conquer the connected speaker market. But is it designed for the long term?

Nevertheless, for Google, this observation is a poor consolation. The home automation sector being in constant movement. It is not impossible that Baidu, strengthened by its national results, will decide to try its luck on the international market. There is no doubt that the reign of the Web giants in the field of connected speakers would take a hit.

Faced with GAFAM – Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft, the threat of the Chinese giants called BATX – Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and Xiaomi – is genuine. The Canalys report published at the end of August 2019 confirms the Chinese interest in home automation. Sales in this market are twice as high as those in the US market – 12.6 million units shipped compared to 6.1 million. Finally, in China alone, sales of connected speakers doubled in the second quarter of 2019.