Amazon, Google, Baidu, Alibaba and Apple Continued to Pull Away from the Pack
The smart speaker market in calendar 2Q21 surged to new heights as consumers and brands adapt to the ongoing pandemic, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics’ Smart Speakers and Screens service. Even with the looming specters of supply chain challenges, component shortages, and the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus hanging over the market, global shipments of smart speakers and smart displays in Q2 2021 grew 34.8% from Q2 2020 to 39.5 million units, a record for a second calendar quarter. Sales of Smart Displays in Q2 soared year-on-year by 45% to 11.6 million units, while sales of basic smart speakers (without a display) increased 31% over the same period. This led to an overall increase of 35% in smart speaker sales (with or without a display) in Q2 2021 compared to Q2 2020. Baidu extended its lead on Amazon in the global smart display market; Baidu claimed 38% share of that market compared to 26% for Amazon, with Baidu’s Zaijia X8 earning the crown as the top-selling smart display globally, just ahead of Baidu’s Zaijia 1c and Amazon’s Echo Show 5.
In the overall smart speaker and smart display market in Q2 2021, the leaderboard remained unchanged, with Amazon at No. 1 followed by Google, Baidu, Alibaba, and Apple, respectively. The gap between the top five and the rest of the market is growing as these companies dominate entry-level ($50 to $99) and ultra-low ($49 and less) price bands, with Apple’s surge powered by its HomePod mini.
“Our earlier forecasts showed we expected the market to return to stronger growth levels in 2021 as the current component supply constraints ease and physical retail stores reopen, and this scenario played out in 1H 2021,” noted David Watkins, Director, Intelligent Home. “Combined shipments of smart speakers and smart displays of 77.2 million in 1H 2021 were up 35.3% year-to-year compared to 1H 2020. We are forecasting robust growth for the remainder of 2021 as a sense of normalcy returns to the market and revitalizes consumer markets.”
Jack Narcotta, Senior Industry Analyst, Smart Home, added, “As consumers settle into their new day-to-day routines, smart speaker and smart display companies are equally settled in with the go-to-market strategies they adapted to 2020 and returning to familiar device development and selling cycles. While growth for the full year in 2021 will be somewhat inflated due to 2020’s slowdown and the market has not fully returned to normal, it is clear the first steps towards that goal are being taken.”