Google beat Amazon for the first time as the search giant shipped 3.2 million units of its Home and Mini devices globally, compared to 2.5 million units of Echo devices shipped worldwide in Q1, 2018. According to Canalys report, smart speakers are the fastest-growing consumer technology segment, with year-on-year growth of 210 per cent in Q1. The total shipments reached nine million units. This is the first time that Google has replaced Amazon to take the top spot in the segment, which has been dominated by Amazon so far.
Google’s success has been attributed to its entry into new markets such as India and go-to-market strategies by partnering with service providers, such as Reliance Jio and ACT Fibernet. “Google has several advantages over Amazon that have helped it move ahead,” said Canalys Analyst Ben Stanton in a press statement. “But its biggest advantage is in the channel. Operators and retailers tend to prioritize Google’s speakers over those from Amazon, as Amazon is in the tricky position of being a direct competitor. But Amazon is fighting back hard, and the sheer quantity of Alexa Skills and smart home integrations will be tough for any competitor to match,” Stanton added.
Google Home and Mini devices were launched in India early April. Both the speakers are powered by Google Assistant and exclusively available on Flipkart online. The devices can also be bough in offline retail stores like Croma, Reliance Digital, etc. The Google Home speaker is priced at Rs 9,999 in India, while the Google Home Mini costs Rs 4,499. Amazon Echo devices were introduced in India in February. Amazon Echo Dot is available at Rs 4,499, while and Echo Plus are priced at Rs 9,999 and Rs 14,999 respectively.>