Smart speaker volumes nearly doubled in the fourth quarter – The Fool Motley

Smart speakers have surely been a popular holiday gift, as unit volumes around the world nearly doubled in the fourth quarter. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) The Google subsidiary is expected to maintain its leading position in the booming market, accounting for most of the sales, thanks in part to growth in the number of device portfolios available at a variety of prices. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) progressed in the growth of HomePod deliveries, but it still represents only a tiny portion of the market.

Here are the latest data on the market of smart speakers.

Echo Dot on a table next to a lamp and a small vase with a plant in it sitting on a book

Low cost devices such as Echo Dot are extremely popular. Source of the image: Amazon.

The smart speaker market is booming

Strategy Analytics has released its estimates for the fourth quarter, which show that total shipments jumped 95% to reach 38.5 million, bringing shipments for the year 2018 to 86.2 million. In fact, the number of smart speakers sold in the fourth quarter was higher than in 2017. Here's how the best players behaved, according to the report.


Q4 2018 shipments

T4 market share 2018


13.7 million



11.5 million


Ali Baba

2.8 million



2.2 million



1.8 million



1.6 million


Data source: Strategy Analytics.

Spotify During the fourth quarter, a promotion was also offered to family account holders in the United States. Google has offered free Google Home Minis. The Swedish music company had previously estimated that this offer would have a negative impact of 50 points on its gross margin in the fourth quarter. , suggesting that he spent about $ 8.5 million and potentially contributed about $ 170,000 to Google's volumes.

The relatively new product sub-category of smart screens is gaining ground, offering more versatility and functionality than non-screen devices, as it is sometimes difficult to rely entirely on voice control. Amazon had released Echo Show first generation in 2017, but had updated the device last year at about the same time that Google had launched its home hub. Smart Screens now account for about 10% of the market and are expected to help drive growth in 2019, according to Strategy Analytics.

"Smart speakers and smart screens were once again the most sought-after technology products in recent years, and we estimate that more than 60 million homes worldwide now have at least one device," said David Watkins, Director. from Strategy Analytics. "Smart screens such as Google's Home Hub, Amazon's Echo Show and Baidu's Xiaodu Zaijia are highly valued by consumers, attracted by the combination of audio and visual stimulus and the wider range. use cases compared to loudspeaker devices only. "

Apple sold only 1.6 million HomePods during the quarter, which, with $ 350 each, would represent a business turnover of about $ 560 million, representing only 8% Apple 's $ 7.3 billion business figure in its "Apparel, Home & Accessories" segment. The company is desperately trying to catch up with its technology giant peers, and would have acquired the Pullstring voice application start-up as part of that effort, according to Axios.

Amazon recently acquired the Eero Wi-Fi mesh networking company as part of its broader smart home strategy, which is based on its leadership in smart speakers.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an affiliate of Amazon, is a board member of The Motley Fool. Suzanne Frey, an executive member of Alphabet, is a board member of The Motley Fool. Evan Niu, CFA holds shares in Baba, Amazon, Apple and SPOT. Motley Fool owns shares and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Amazon, Apple and BIDU. The Motley Fool offers the following options: Long Calls from $ 150 to January 2020 for Apple and short calls from $ 155 to January 2020 on Apple. Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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