Google Home Mini was top smart speaker in Q2 2018 as Assistant’s gap w/ Amazon closes

Google got into the smart speaker game quite a while after Amazon, but things have been continually getting better for Assistant hardware. During Q2 of 2018, Google Home Mini turned out to be the number one selling smart speaker.

According to the latest report from Strategy Analytics, Google Home Mini accounted for 20% of global smart speaker sales during Q2 of 2018. That means one of every five smart speaker shipments was a Home Mini, totaling 2.3 million over the 3-month period. Notably, the standard Google Home managed to capture 7% of the market with about 800,000 units shipped.

Combined, Google Home and Home Mini managed to take 27% of the market for Q2. By comparison, Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot captured 12% (1.4 million) and 18% (2.2 million) respectively. That still leaves Amazon ahead, but only by a margin of 3%. Clearly, Google has made up a ton of ground since jumping into this space.

google home mini shipments q2

Strategy Analytics VP David Mercer mentioned in a quote that Apple has managed to take over the premium market, though. While Google and Amazon compete over volume, customers looking for a second speaker are more willing to try something more expensive, and Apple’s HomePod has managed a 70% hold on the $200+ market.

Google and Amazon’s pursuit of volume over margin is making life very difficult for vendors entering the market with products that offer similar features. However, the more premium end of the market does offer opportunity to vendors who can entice consumers with superior build and audio quality. Early adopters of low-cost smart speakers such as the Echo Dot or Google Home Mini and who are now looking to buy a second device will be a key target demographic for such vendors. Apple has established an early lead in the premium smart speaker market, benefiting from a fiercely loyal fan base and strong momentum behind its Apple Music service. However, we expect the higher end smart speaker market to grow and become much more competitive moving forwards as vendors such as Samsung with its Galaxy Home speaker look to capitalize on the growing acceptance of voice as an established control mechanism.

It should be interesting to see how things continue to change as we go forward, especially as we look towards the debut of the affordable Google Home Hub in the coming weeks.

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