But despite Apple's ho-hummer of a smart speaker launch, which is largely attributed to the high price, lacklustre speech recognition and dustbin-like aesthetics, Strategy Analytics vice president David Mercer suggested that the strong growth in the market over the past year "confirms our view that this new market is far more than just a flash in the pan". That doubled the 2 million devices it shipped during last year's first quarter.
Apple is off to a slow start in the smart speaker wars, according to newly released data from research firm Strategy Analytics. The same time period saw about 4 million sales for Amazon, about 43.6% of the total market.
With 43.6 per cent market share, Amazon shipped an impressive four million smart speakers during the quarter though its global market share almost halved from the same period in 2017.
While the news that Amazon and Google are clear market leaders in the field, the fact that Apple is falling behind Alibaba could be a cause for concern for the tech innovator.
Beyond the top two, no maker managed to break a 10 percent share of the market.
Google and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba appeared on second and third ranks with (26.5 percent market share with 2.4 million sales) and (7.6 percent market share) respectively. Amazon was still the top contender, with shipments rising to 4 million from 2 million, but its market share nearly halved as competition in the sector heated up with the entrance of Alibaba, Apple and Xiaomi.
"Today's smart speakers are by no means the finished article but they have captured the consumer imagination and we will see rapid evolution in design, functionality and associated use cases over the coming years". A cheaper and smaller version may be on the way, which may compete better with standard Amazon and Google smart speakers.