AI, smart home, IOT entrance… Stimulated by a series of cutting-edge technologies and cool concepts, smart speakers, a brand-new category, have emerged, and have soared rapidly in the past two years.
According to the omni channel push data of AVC, the sales volume of China’s smart speaker Market in 2019 was 36.822 million units, with a year-on-year growth of 126.6%, and the sales volume was 6.91 billion yuan, with a year-on-year growth of 89.3%.
As far as the Chinese market is concerned, the current competition pattern is also very clear. The market cake is basically divided up by three leading enterprises: Alibaba (tmall spirit), baidu (Xiaodu) and Xiaomi (Xiaoai). According to the data of Ovi cloud, these three enterprises are ranked in the top three in the market, accounting for 92.7% of the total market share, and the industry brand concentration is very high.
Globally, according to the data of canalys Research Institute, the top five brands in terms of sales in 2019 are Amazon, Google, Baidu, Ali and Xiaomi. Among them, the sales of three Chinese enterprises are 17.3 million units, 16.8 million units and 14.1 million units, with market shares of 13.9%, 13.5% and 11.3% respectively.
From the above data, it is not difficult to find that although the smart speaker market is hot, and the brand concentration in the Chinese market is very high, at present, it has not formed a truly dominant oligarch. Ali, Baidu and Xiaomi are in a tripartite confrontation, and they are basically equal.
Alibaba’s tmall Genie has been involved in the market for a long time. After all, as the platform of Amazon, it is impossible to fall behind on the track of smart speakers. With the help of Alibaba’s C-end channel resources and b-end enterprise customer resources, tmall Genie has been in a leading position in sales.
Among the three enterprises, Baidu has the most powerful search and AI technologies, and intelligent speakers rely on these technologies. With the content support of Baidu ecology, baidu speakers have also achieved rapid development.
Xiaomi’s mobile phones and home appliances are not the strongest, but the overall layout of IOT is the best in the communication, Internet and home appliance industries, so it’s natural for smart speakers to sell well.
On the whole, each of the three enterprises has its own advantages, so it is difficult for them to get rid of their competitors and become oligarchs in the industry. Judging from the market share data, the share difference between Alibaba and Baidu is very small, almost negligible. Although Xiaomi is slightly behind the former two, there is only a gap of about 2 percentage points.
From the perspective of the industry, there are still two problems with smart speakers
First, deep in the quagmire of price war. Although the smart speaker market continues to grow, but from the hardware point of view, the brand is still difficult to really profit from this market. In 2019, due to the frequent use of low price strategy by enterprises, the growth rate of sales is far lower than that of sales, and the average price of products dropped by 16.4% year on year, only 187.7 yuan.
Second, the homogeneity of products is serious. Whether it is product design or function, the current market of intelligent speakers are very similar, product features are seriously lacking. When products tend to be homogeneous, consumers’ decision-making reference can only be simple brand preference and price.
Third, security issues should not be ignored. As an emerging category and an entry-level product, there are still many problems in the network security of smart speakers. Hackers, information eavesdropping, AI induced suicide and other negative news occur frequently. The industry urgently needs to strengthen the protection of personal privacy and personal property security.
Therefore, if Ali, Baidu and Xiaomi want to become real oligopolistic brands in the industry and occupy an absolute dominant position in market share, they need to give full play to their respective advantages and at the same time try to do more in-depth differentiated innovation in product design, brand building, functional services, etc., otherwise they will not struggle with each other, It can’t grow into a national import aiot product.