Recently, some research institutions released data: In the first half of 2019, China's smart speaker market sales were 15.56 million units, a year-on-year increase of 233%; sales were 3.01 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 149%. The sales volume of smart speakers in China in the first half of the year is close to that of 2018. It can be seen that in the first half of 2019, the average sales of a single device of smart speakers was only 193 yuan.
Market Matthew effect highlights
According to the home grid, in the smart speaker market in the first half of 2019, the market share of TOP3 brands reached 93.3%. The "IDC China Smart Home Equipment Market Quarterly Tracking Report" previously published by IDC also showed that the top three brands accounted for 85% of China's smart speaker shipments in the first quarter of 2019. This means that the sharp increase in sales of smart speakers is partly due to the top brand.
According to analysis by industry insiders, the current increase in sales of smart speakers is more driven by the stimulation of low-cost subsidies. The size of the top brands allows them to launch larger-scale price subsidies, making other small brands unable to compete with them. It is reported that during Double 11 in 2018, the price of Tmall Genie X1 dropped from 499 yuan to 99 yuan, the original price of 399 yuan Dingdong TOP smart speaker was offered at a preferential price of 49 yuan, and Xiaoai speaker dropped from 169 to 99 yuan. 99.
In addition, due to the lack of funds, lack of talents and other factors, small brands cannot invest more manpower and material resources to compete with the top brands. They can only watch the top brands carve up the market, and the Matthew effect of the strong and the strong is formed. New industry barriers. According to statistics, in the first half of 2019, there were only 5 new smart speaker brands, and the industry had flooded into nearly 2,000 manufacturers when it first started.
Hidden dangers behind the price war revealed
In 2019, the Tencent Tingting project was suspended, and Rokid was exposed to layoffs. The industry has begun to reflect on the fact that relying on low prices to snatch the market, snatch smart market traffic, snatch users, can really grab the traffic entrance? At the 2018 annual performance briefing meeting, Liu Qingfeng, chairman of iFlytek, publicly stated: "No longer follow the smart speaker track."
In fact, behind the price war, most manufacturers are operating at a loss. Audio manufacturer Gu Gu Meimei CEO Tong Jianchao once publicly disclosed to the media that the cost of a small speaker without a screen is around 150 yuan, plus smart hardware modules such as Wi-Fi modules, chips, and microphone arrays at around 250 yuan. At present, the basic models of Tmall Genie and Baidu Xiaodu are priced below 100 yuan, and the price of Xiaomi Xiaoai is only tens of yuan higher, which means that these products are selling at a loss, and every 10,000 units need to be subsidized by one million. Around yuan.
In addition, the privacy problem of smart speakers has not been resolved positively. At the 23rd China International Software Expo in 2019, the National Industrial Information Security Development Research Center, Ai Encryption, etc. jointly released the "Smart Speaker Security Evaluation Research Report." The report pointed out that the mainstream smart speaker market in China has security risks such as unauthorized collection of personal information and illegal transmission of data without user authorization. It is understood that these security risks include arbitrary collection of voiceprint information, lack of protection of personal privacy, unsupervised content playback, and the possibility of even becoming a monitoring device.
Industry insiders told Jiadian that the profit of the hardware industry has always been low, and there is almost no case where the price of the smart speaker industry is cut by nearly half, or even 80%. The thinking of the hardware company, even if it does not rely on hardware to make money, it is impossible to exchange the market with a large loss. At present, most of the profit margins of smart speakers will obviously not exceed 5%. In the face of the 5G era that has come, it is still unknown whether the smart speaker industry, which lacks stamina, can keep up with the pace of development.