Did Google Home just make a big dent in the smart speaker market? Based on review data from NPR, Strategy Analytics and Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Google’s share of Q4 smart speaker sales peaked at a staggering 24%.
Google has provided a clear picture on just how well its smart speakers are selling; revealing that since the shipping of the Home Mini, October 19th, it has sold ‘more than one’ Home speaker per second. That suggests Google sold around 6.4 million speakers between the Mini’s debut and the end of 2017. Although not officially split into device sales, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume many (if not most) of the sales were Minis.
Available on more than 400 million devices, including its own products as well as third-party Android phones, smart speakers, TVs and iOS devices; Home usage increased a staggering nine times year-over-year during the festive season. Google are yet to pin point what prompted such surge, but the uptick in sales and greater familiarity no doubt assisted.
As for how this spike compares to Amazon’s Echo sales, that’s difficult to corroborate. Amazon is notorious for refusing to provide sales numbers, but rather releasing vague references to sales chart positions and categories such as ‘most gifted’. Notably, previous strategy analytics data does suggest that Google’s performance has greatly improved, estimating that the company shipped 1.9 million Home speakers in the third quarter.
But why such a spike? Well, affordability and time of year definitely came into play. Arguably Google did just as Amazon did with its Echo Dot to give device sales a considerable boost – a $49 speaker is much closer to a ‘justifiable’ impulse purchase than a $129 one. As the gift giving season has drawn to a close, more likely than not Google will see a decline in its sales. But this is not before the Mini had the chance to turn heads, taking Google from a runner-up in the world of smart speakers to a serious contender.