The HomePod is Apple’s first smart speaker. As a speaker, it’s fantastic. As a container for Siri, the company’s digital personal assistant, it still has room to grow.
Whether it’s the price tag, or the lack of smarts when compared to the major competing options, it doesn’t look like Apple’s HomePod is doing all that well in the global market. According to new data from Strategy Analytics, the HomePod has only captured 4 percent of the total smart speaker market globally. According to the firm, HomePod shipments in the fourth quarter of 2018 totaled 1.6 million.
The good news there is that the 1.6 million shipments a sizable increase from the same period of time last year. Specifically, according to the data shared by the firm, Apple saw a 45 percent increase year-over-year. That’s still not enough to make a big dent in the market, however.
Amazon is still in the lead in this regard, bringing in 35.5 percent of the global market share. In shipments alone, Amazon saw 13.7 million units based on this data. Google was close, with 11.5 million shipments and a 30.0% capture of the market. (Google’s growth YoY was actually 123%, so, that’s huge.) Alibaba, Baidu, and Xiaomi captured 7.3%, 5.7%, and 4.6% of the global smart speaker market, respectively.
“The final results are in and they confirm that smart speakers were the hottest consumer electronics product in 2018. Strategy Analytics’ latest research shows that Q4 shipments grew 95% to 38.5 million units. This was more than the entire 2017 total and brought the 2018 tally to 86.2 million units. Amazon and Google enjoyed a particularly strong quarter thanks to the popularity of their low-cost Echo Dot and Home Mini speakers and both companies recorded quarter-on-quarter increases in market share. Apple’s HomePod sales rose 45%, but its market share fell back to 4.1% in Q4.”
Strategy Analytics does note that pricing is playing a big part in this lead by Google and Amazon. The HomePod is priced well over $200, while the options from the other major competitors are well below that for most of their smart speaker products. Still, Apple can brag about the fact that it holds 70% of the $200+ smart speaker market, if it wanted to.
It is worth noting that, in the United States alone, Apple does have a slightly better record at 6% of the market. Amazon and Google still hold a commanding lead in the U.S. market, though.
There used to be quite a few rumors swirling around that Apple was developing a lower-cost HomePod, but those have basically died out now.
If Apple did launch a newer, cheaper HomePod, would you pick one up?