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Google falls to third in smart speaker sales worldwide

Canalys says Google needs to rethink its array of products and how it pitches them.


The Google Home is losing some market share in the world of smart speakers. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

Google has some catching up to do as it's now dropped to third place in the global smart speaker market. It lost its No. 2 spot to Chinese tech company Baidu, which sold a significant number of speakers to customers in its sole market of China. 

Amazon remains on top of the global smart speaker market, according to market research Canalys in its report for the second quarter of 2019, released Monday. The Google Home maker's placement comes as a surprise, as Google and Amazon were regularly in the top two spots for smart speaker sales. Baidu finished the quarter with 4.5 million units shipped, outdoing Google's 4.3 million. Amazon shipped 6.6 million units. 

Even though the report shows the global smart speaker market grew 55.4%, reaching 26.1 million units in the second quarter, the US market had a decline of 2.4%, with 6.1 million units shipped.

"Google's transition to the Nest branding while pivoting to smart displays proved to be a challenge, especially as it has begun rolling out its Nest Hub smart display globally," Canalys senior analyst Jason Low said in the report. "Google urgently requires a revamped non-display smart speaker portfolio to rekindle consumer interest as well as a robust marketing strategy to build its Nest branding outside of the U.S."

China, on the other hand, is leading the charge for smart speaker sales. It purchased 12.6 million smart speakers, which was more than double the volume in the US.

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