Smart speaker shipments in Q3 2018 soared year-over-year, with Amazon leading the way. The battle between Amazon and Google drove smart speaker sales higher in the US and some other key markets, according to research firm Canalys. Meanwhile, Baidu, Alibaba and Xiaomi are vying to lead the huge growth in the Chinese market.
Worldwide smart speaker shipments grew 137 percent year-over-year in Q3, according to Canalys, reaching 19.7 million units. Similarly, Strategy Analytics reports that 22.7 million units were sold in Q3, amounting to year-over-year growth of 197 percent.
Both research firms found Amazon in the lead, with its Echo smart speaker lineup grabbing more than 31 percent of the market. That's a steep drop from a year ago, when Amazon easily took more than half of the nascent smart speaker market.
Google came in second, taking nearly 30 percent of the market, according to Canalys. Strategy Analytics put Google's market share at a more modest 23 percent.
According to Canalys, Amazon Prime Day was a major driver of Amazon's sales in Q3, but the competition between Google and Amazon drove overall sales in the US, the UK, Canada and Australia. The US market, Canalys reports, grew by 30 percent.
The Chinese market has exploded this year. According to Canalys, it grew nearly 100 times to 5.8 million units. Strategy Analytics also reported huge growth, tabulating that the top three Chinese vendors sold 6 million units.