One hundred boxes at a time: who will dominate the ups and downs of 2019 smart speakers
2018 is the first year of smart speakers in China
it is generally believed in the industry that smart speakers are an ideal entry into the use scene of smart home and easy to be accepted by users. Once the switch of smart home is turned on, more products and services will quickly enter consumers' daily life and obtain a more diversified business environment. Therefore, in the past two years, domestic and foreign technology giants and Internet giants have made great efforts to develop smart speakers, making the field grow by leaps and bounds, and gradually move from the minority to the public
it is worth mentioning that smart speakers not only have a huge consumer market, but also play a "ticket" role in the AI market for Internet giants. In this fast-paced era, the competition between enterprises is more intense. Taking the lead in owning tickets for a certain industry is equivalent to half the success
as a result, after foreign technology giants such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and apple laid out the smart speaker industry, domestic giants such as Alibaba and Baidu also entered the market one after another. The market activity of products such as Xiaodu smart speaker, dingdong and tmall Genie increased sharply, and the domestic smart speaker Market was booming. Then a "smart speaker price war" was launched last year
the global Internet giants have launched a global wave of smart speakers
according to the global smart speaker Market Report for the third quarter of 2018 released by strategy analytics, the global smart speaker shipments in the third quarter of 2018 reached 22.7 million, an increase of 197% year-on-year, a record high. Among them, Amazon's global share of smart speakers has decreased significantly compared with 2017, but shipments have been rising. In the third quarter, the market share is still the highest, reaching 32%, while Google closely followed with a market share of 23%
it is worth mentioning that the shipments of Alibaba, Baidu and Xiaomi smart speakers from China rank third, fourth and fifth in the world respectively. Among them, baidu is the best performer, and the extruder industry still has a large market space for development. Its market share increased from 1% in Q2 in 2018 to 8% in Q3 in 2018, surpassing Xiaomi and becoming a well deserved dark horse
according to emarketer's observation on smart speaker Market Trends in 2019, China will have 85.5 million smart speaker users in 2019, exceeding the number of 74.2 million users in the United States. The penetration rate of smart speakers among Americans is 26.0%, much higher than 10.0% in China. Therefore, there is still great room for development in the field of smart speakers in China in the future. However, after too long-term development, even so, there are still great challenges for domestic enterprises to further develop in the field of smart speakers
first of all, it is the impact of more mature smart speaker products from overseas enterprises such as Amazon, Google and apple. Amazon released the echo speaker in November 2014, which opened the prelude to smart speakers, caught Google, the "leader" in artificial intelligence, and apple, the "leader" in devices, unprepared, and became the first person in the field of smart speakers, laying the foundation for its subsequent entry into the field of smart home. Then Google, Facebook, apple and other technology companies followed suit and launched googlehome, portal and homepod
then, whether it is Amazon's acquisition of Internet router start-up Eero or Google's launch of Google WiFi, China's standards for the classification of the combustion performance of building materials and products show that foreign countries are becoming more and more mature in the field of smart home, which has a huge impact on the domestic market
secondly, it is the original resistance caused by the complex smart speaker Market in China. There are many manufacturers in the domestic smart speaker market, mainly including five categories: first, Internet companies such as batj hope to establish an intelligent ecosystem through the entrance of voice to find new markets for existing content and services; Second, technology manufacturers, represented by iFLYTEK, focus on the construction of technology open platforms; Third, Himalayan and other content manufacturers; Fourth, start-ups focusing on smart home; Fifth, traditional speaker manufacturers represented by walkers
compared with foreign countries, the domestic smart speaker field not only has more complex manufacturers and more fierce competition, but also has a certain lag in time. The first smart speaker Ding Dong in China was born in 2015 and jointly launched by jd.com and iFLYTEK. Since then, the domestic smart speaker market has been silent. Until Alibaba tentatively launched tmall genie in 2017, Xiaomi, Baidu and other enterprises did not want to fall behind and entered the market one after another. The domestic smart speakers entered the intensive sales period. For a time, the field of smart speakers was bustling, "hundreds of boxes contend"
when the inborn deficiency meets the harsh living environment
at present, we can't deny that with the continuous increase of home connected devices, the smart speaker, which has a great chance to become the control center of the future smart home, is of extraordinary importance. But since ancient times, the benefits are as big as the risks. For the key like smart speaker field, there are three questions to be answered in front of development
first, how can smart speakers be "smart"
whenever there is a new outlet in the market, there will be countless followers, including smart speakers. In order to catch the ride of smart speakers, traditional speaker manufacturers have launched many products, but the selling points are focused on sound quality, putting the cart before the horse. In addition, the "speech recognition technology" is not yet perfect. People from one place have different accents in the same language, not to mention the natural language understanding problems involved in local dialects and contexts
in addition, there are the old security risks in the field of artificial intelligence and IOT, such as data storage, identity authentication, sensitive data protection, etc., which will not be repeated here
secondly, how to improve the popularity and utilization of smart speakers
we know that the positioning of "the control core of smart home in the future" in the era of IOT is one of the important reasons why smart speakers are so popular. The ideal smart home ecosystem is not the intellectualization of household items, but the interaction with each other to achieve the state of interconnection and mutual control. However, the current smart home system is still in an independent state, which makes the utilization rate of smart speakers low, like "chicken ribs"
compared with China, foreign countries are much more advanced in this regard. Taking the United States as an example, the smart home industry in the United States has a unified standard agreement, and Amazon's echo can directly access various smart home devices, which is also the reason why the popularity of smart speakers in the United States is much higher than that in China
finally, how can domestic enterprises "go global"
there are many differences in user habits at home and abroad. Taking the use environment as an example, the home environment of foreign users is mostly open. American housewives like to listen to music when cooking, so the consumption demand of smart speakers in foreign countries is also relatively high. In China, the kitchen and living room are more closed, and the living environment is relatively noisy. Accordingly, the market demand for smart speakers is low. This is one of the important reasons why it is difficult for foreign manufacturers to enter the Chinese market. Another limitation is the low degree of "localization" of human-computer interaction
take apple homepod as an example. Although its Siri voice assistant has achieved some results in supporting Chinese, it still lags behind local players Alibaba and Baidu in terms of interaction and understanding ability. Moreover, domestic enterprises represented by bat have more local resources, and overseas enterprises such as apple are difficult to make breakthroughs in China. Similarly, domestic enterprises will encounter the same problems if they want to go global
to sum up, smart speakers can be said to be "vulnerable". At this stage, the main purpose of the giants to develop smart speakers is not to make profits, but to seize more user families and pave the way for the future construction of AI ecosystem. So, how can small and medium-sized enterprises survive in this war
under the double storm, the reliable content of smart speakers has passed the winter
as mentioned earlier, there is a kind of domestic smart speaker manufacturers that pay attention to content, represented by Himalayas. The author believes that such manufacturers may survive better at this stage. Nowadays, the main demand of users for smart speakers is still in the situation of "listening". Smart speakers are to a large extent a battle for content ecology. On this basis, based on its rich content, Himalaya launched smart speaker Xiaoya, which will be easier to break through in the family scene
although from the perspective of the single-layer materials "torn" from the graphite surface by two British scientists using "tape", Internet giants such as Himalaya and batj have considerable weaknesses in technology and the overall layout of AI in the future, due to various reasons, the demand of domestic users for smart speakers will be in the stage of "listening" for a long time to come. Moreover, the core technology of intelligent speaker "speech recognition" is also a part of the content in essence. From another perspective, Himalayan competitors are not Internet giants such as batj. Their development in the field of smart speakers is more to expand their own audio business and consolidate their position in the audio market
similarly, Tencent has a strong advantage in content resources. After all, at this stage, the main purpose of consumers to buy smart speakers is content consumption and smart home. On this basis, Tencent can integrate its own music, reading and video to provide content support for smart speakers
in addition to content consumption, the development space of the "smart speaker + education" model is also very broad, especially in the field of early education. Put aside the rotten education, just the importance that Chinese people attach to the education of their children is enough to make smart speakers pay attention to the field of "early education"
judging from the current smart speaker market, the performance of the C-end consumer market in a short period of time can't be better than that of the b-end. Therefore, how to gain a foothold in the b-end and finally feed back to the C-end is a very important point in the development of smart speakers. From this perspective, the future of "smart speakers + early childhood education" is very exciting
after all, there are some problems in the domestic early childhood education industry, such as limited capital level, uneven regional development, most preschool teachers' employment after only short-term training, and low degree of specialization. If intelligent speakers are combined with early childhood education, the large number of professional, systematic and scientific early childhood education courses it carries can perfectly make up for the shortcomings of traditional picture books, books, videos, etc. coupled with its advantages of simple operation, high safety and no damage to vision, intelligent speakers can become an indispensable tool in the process of early childhood education
of course, in addition to the above two directions, as the entrance of artificial intelligence audio terminal, the b-end scene that can be developed is very rich. In this regard, before the arrival of the C-end market, domestic non giant enterprises also have a new breakthrough in the field of smart speakers. Is that useful? Walk and watch