More People Unwrapped Amazon Echos During The Holidays, Than Google Homes

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In the fourth quarter of 2018, more people bought an Amazon Echo than a Google Home, increasing Amazon's market share lead on Google in the market.

In the quarter, Amazon shipped 13.7 million units, versus Google shipping around 11.5 million units. At the end of the quarter, Amazon had 35.5-percent of the market, with Google at 30-percent. Google actually grew more quarter-over-quarter, compared to Amazon. At 123-percent, versus Amazon's 91-percent. Both grew pretty substantially in the quarter due to the holidays.

This is all according to Strategy Analytics, and since neither company really releases numbers on sales for its products, these are all educated guesses. But this is something that Strategy Analytics does quite a bit, across all of the different industries, so these numbers are still fairly accurate.

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While Amazon and Google make up a little more than 65-percent of the market, the rest of the market is mainly in China. With Alibaba, Baidu and Xiaomi coming in behind those two. And Apple coming in fifth place. Apple's numbers have been fairly low since it only has one smart speaker, and that smart speaker is fairly expensive and doesn't work with as many services.

Overall, shipments of smart speakers grew around 70-percent between the third and fourth quarter in 2018. That isn't a small number, and considering the market is still fairly new, that number may be dwarfed in 2019. Of course, a big part of that was the fact that it was the holiday quarter, and these smart speakers were deeply discounted.

Amazon continues to hold a lead over Google for one specific reason. This is the fact that Amazon bundles its Echo smart speakers with just about anything that works with Alexa. If you're buying a smart bulb, you can likely get an Echo Dot for free or a very low price with that smart bulb. And this is something Amazon did throughout the holiday season. And as we can see now, it really helped them out during the holidays. Jumping about 91-percent, in terms of shipments.

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Now Google was doing the same thing, with its Home Mini. But the key difference is the fact that the Google Home is not available on Amazon – the biggest retailer around. Seeing as most people likely did their holiday shopping on Amazon, Google is still missing out on quite a bit of sales by Amazon refusing to not stock Google's products. Of course, this issue between Google and Amazon is not new, and it's unlikely to get squashed anytime soon.

Smart speakers have been used as a catalyst by both Amazon and Google, to get people into the smart home space, and to get them to use their digital voice assistants. Google Assistant is still more popular than Amazon Alexa. Though a big part of that is the fact that Google Assistant is available on many more products than Amazon Alexa. This includes your smartphone. Just about any smartphone made in the past couple of years, has Google Assistant built-in. That is not the case for Amazon Alexa, unfortunately.

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