HomePod Retains 6% Market Share in Q2 2018

Analysts have a lot of data to pour over, and sometimes they’re on the same page with all the details. And sometimes they aren’t.

When it comes to the products that Apple doesn’t explicitly go out of its way to reveal numbers for, in regards to sales and shipments, analysts are left to work with behind-the-scenes numbers and formulate their own conclusions. Which is why, sometimes, despite coming to the same realization in terms of market share, some analysts can predict massively different shipment numbers.

That’s what we’re looking at with this week’s report from Strategy Analytics. The analysts there recently published their report looking back at the second quarter of 2018 for “Global Smart Speaker Vendor & OS Shipment and Installed Base Market Share by Region: Q2 2018”, detailing where they think the market is now, where it might be going, and which companies are leading the charge towards that future.

But first, let’s take a look at the data from earlier this month published by CIRP, which also looked at the smart speaker market. According to their data, Apple sold upwards of 3 million HomePod smart speakers in the United States up to that point, which meant the company already owned 6 percent of the total market.

Now, Strategy Analytics has come out with its own report and says that Apple’s shipments for the HomePod by the end of the second quarter of this year is (only) 700,000. If you lump that together with SA’s report from the first quarter of this year, in which the company says Apple shipped 600,000 units, well, that puts the total number of HomePods at over 1 million, but definitely not 3 million.

Strategy Analytics says HomePod has 6% market share

However, both analytics firms agree that Apple has 6 percent of the smart speaker market share. So there’s that.

Amazon and Google continue to lead the race, though, due in part to their low-price options that have helped build up their user base. Meanwhile, SA believes the HomePod’s price tag is one of the reasons why the speaker has not been flying off the shelves:

“Q2 2018 saw a continuation of Amazon and Google’s strategy of driving high shipment levels of their smart speakers at low prices in order to establish a strong user base to support their various service businesses. Over two thirds of the near 12 million smart speakers shipped during the quarter were either an Amazon or Google product. Apple increased its shipments from the previous quarter following its entry into three new markets during Q2. However, its high price continues to hamper demand for the HomePod. The Chinese market has grown rapidly so far this year as local players such as Alibaba, JD.com and Baidu follow the same strategic path set by Amazon and Google. As a result the Asia Pacific market has now risen to 20% of global smart speaker shipment demand.”

Our Take

That’s a pretty large discrepancy between the two firms in terms of total units shipped. But it seems to be the consensus that Apple’s starting to eat up market share. Will a cheaper price on a HomePod speaker make a bit of difference? Rumors say Apple is indeed working on something like that, so we may find out sooner rather than later. Of course, adding more features to the smart speaker might help its positive word of mouth, too.

[via Strategy Analytics]