The global smart speaker market is large and growing as more embrace the idea of interacting with a digital assistant by voice. As the global smart speaker market heats up, manufacturers are vying to be the top name in the segment. The two top companies had been Amazon and Google, but a major change has taken place near the top with one company coming up fast, and that company is Baidu.
Baidu is a search engine that has been dominating the Chinese market for years. It has surpassed Google in the global smart speaker market taking 17.3% the market with 4.5 million smart speakers shipped during the second quarter of 2019. The growth rate for Baidu was massive, with a recent Canalys report pegging its growth at 3,700 percent year-over-year.
Amazon continues to lead the global smart speaker market, with over 25% of the market and 6.6 million units shipped in Q2 2019. The smart speakers that Baidu offers run on an AI platform called DuerOS, and its first product targeted the high-end market and didn't sell well. The company is now selling a basic smart speaker that is called the Xiaodu and sells for about $12.
Baidu overtook its Chinese rival Alibaba in Q1 2019. Interestingly, Baidu has managed to grab the second-place spot in global smart speaker shipments despite the fact that it only sells the smart speaker in China; Google sells everywhere but in China. Baidu and its related companies don't have the best record for privacy, as Google Play Store apps from a Baidu spinoff were found to be transmitting data to China and committing click fraud back in April.