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Smart Speaker Sales Rise By 8.2% Despite Supply Disruptions

Globally, smart speaker sales increased by 8.2% year-on-year in the first quarter of the year, reaching 28.2 million, according to the latest figures from Strategy Analytics. “The growth in demand for smart displays in recent weeks shows that smart speaker devices are playing their part in alleviating the impact of lockdown conditions by improving access to video chat services for family and friends, amongst other things,” said David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics.

Amazon – which has the Echo Studio, Echo Dot, and Echo Link – continued to lead the market in Q1 2020, accounting for 23.5% of market share.

Google, which has the Nest Mini and the Google Home, remained in second place, representing 19.3% of sales.

A Google Home unit is on display following a product event Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, in San Francisco. Google launched an aggressive challenge to Apple and Samsung introducing its own new line of smartphones called Pixel, which are designed to showcase a digital helper the company calls “Google Assistant.”The new phones represent a big new push by Google to sell its own consumer devices, instead of largely just supplying software for other manufacturers. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

The Chinese smart speaker vendors, including Baidu, Alibaba and Xiaomi, all recorded a drop in sales due to supply and demand challenges stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak in the domestic market.

However, Strategy Analytics notes that the Chinese smart speaker market has begun to recover in Q2 as supply chains return to normal. Meanwhile, Amazon and Google will likely come under greater pressure as a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns in Western markets in the second quarter.

“Disruption to economies and the retailing environment will continue to affect demand dynamics for much of 2020, so vendors must continue to plan for volatility. Tailoring and adapting brand communications towards rapidly changing consumer needs and attitudes is critical for vendors wishing to minimise the impact of the pandemic as far as possible,” said David Mercer, VP of Media and Interactive Home.

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