According to the latest quarterly research from Strategy Analytics, global smart speaker shipments reached 9.2 million units in Q1 2018. Market leader Amazon is estimated to have shipped 4 million smart speakers during the quarter though its global market share has nearly halved from the same period last year. Google and Alibaba consolidated their number two and three rankings while Apple became the fourth largest smart speaker brand worldwide following the launch of the HomePod in February 2018. Strategy Analytics’ latest smart speaker report, “Global Smart Speaker Vendor & OS Shipment and Installed Base Market Share by Region: Q1 2018” provides detailed quarterly metrics for twenty smart speaker vendors and twelve voice operating systems.

Global Smart Speaker Shipments by Vendor in Q1 2018¹
(Shipments in Millions of Units)
Global Smart Speaker Shipments by Vendor in Q1 2018
Source: Strategy Analytics Smart Speaker service
¹Numbers are rounded.

David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement, “Amazon and Google accounted for a dominant 70% share of global smart speaker shipments in Q1 2018 although their combined share has fallen from 84% in Q4 2017 and 94% in the year ago quarter. This is partly as a result of strong growth in the Chinese market for smart speakers where both Amazon and Google are currently absent. Alibaba and Xiaomi are leading the way in China and their strength in the domestic market alone is proving enough to propel them into the global top five.”

Apple's HomePod

Apple’s HomePod

David Mercer, Vice President at Strategy Analytics added, “Further strong growth in smart speaker sales confirms our view that this new market is far more than just a flash in the pan. Today’s smart speakers are by no means the finished article but they have captured the consumer imagination and we will see rapid evolution in design, functionality and associated use cases over the coming years. We are clearly heading towards to a time in the not too distant future when voice becomes a standard mode of technology interaction alongside established approaches like keyboard, mouse and touchscreen.”

Source: Strategy Analytics, Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Not too bad, especially since HomePod was not released until February 9th, nearly halfway through calendar Q1. Imagine if Apple hadn’t missed last Christmas!

Again, you simply cannot miss the Christmas shopping season and not pay a steep price. For Apple, the price is a lost year and millions of potential customers lost to other ecosystems – perhaps temporarily, perhaps permanently; regardless they will be much harder to land had Apple had product on the shelves for Christmas.

A finally finished HomePod (with flawless multi-room audio and stereo pairing out of the box) and, potentially others in the HomePod family, are products for Christmas 2018 and beyond. — MacDailyNews, April 13, 2018