Huge growth forecast for global smart speaker market by 2019

Research specialist TrendForce has announced that it expects global shipments of smart speakers to grow by 53% YoY and surpass the 95 million mark in 2019.

2019 will see sales of connected speaker reach approximately 95.25 million units says TrendForce.

In a recent report exploring trends in the global smart speaker market, TrendForce states that global shipments of smart speakers are expected to reach 62.25 million units in 2018. It expects sales to hit 95 million next year and show an increase of 53% YoY on behalf of the expansion of Google Home into more regions and the growth of smart speaker market in China.

The research adds that that thanks to the “strongest growth momentum among all categories of consumer electronics” smart speakers have emerged as a “major” application of voice services and are fast becoming “the gateway to other smart home products, as well as vast ecosystems.”

2018 saw products from household names like Apple and Facebook joined by Baidu, and Tencent in the marketplace, offering competition for the likes of Amazon and Google.

Google's growth of platform to pay off

“Currently, Amazon accounts for around 70% of the US market, therefore Google has to turn to explore the overseas markets”, comments Tom Tien, analyst at TrendForce.

TrendForce says “outstanding AI speech recognition” and actively developing the voice-user interface for multiple languages will increase Google's market share (with Google Home supporting 6 languages since 2018, up from 4 in 2017, and Google Home being available in 13 countries, up from 6). In 2019, it is expected to be available in over 18 countries and support more than 11 languages, driving its 2019 global shipment to 30.96 million units, totalling a YoY growth of 72%.

High expectations for Chinese market

China is gearing up for the fast-growth of smart speakers in 2019, but may go through low price competitions before that, says Tien. He adds that aggressive pricing by major players could force smaller speaker manufacturers out of the market (or transfer to a niche market) due to cost pressure and loss.

“We anticipate that the Chinese market will experience a reshuffle and enter a period of rapid growth in 2019, when the customers shrug off their conservative attitudes and become more positive about smart speakers”, states TrendForce in a statement.

The company forecasts that it expects Chinese smart speaker brands (such as Alibaba, Xiaomi and Baidu) to reach shipments of 28.71 million units in 2019, showing a significant YoY growth of 101.2% (from 14.27 million units in 2018).

As for international brands, it expects the lack of access to the Chinese language in speakers from Amazon, Apple and Google in China to continue, and for such companies to continue to focus their attention outside of the country.

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