HomePod captured just 6 percent of the smartspeaker market
The iPhone X is selling like gangbusters. The HomePod is… it’s just not. Apple’s smartspeaker had only a small share of the world market in the first quarter of this year, according to a market research firm.
No surprise, Amazon has the largest share of the pie. But it doesn’t dominate this market the way it used to.
Reasearch company Strategy Analysts reports that, in the first three months of this year, Apple shipped just 600,000 HomePods. Still, that was enough to make it the fourth largest smartspeaker brand in the world.
HomePod sales at launch
Of course, Apple launched its smartspeaker in the middle of this quarter so it missed out on all of January and part of February. On the other side of the coin, the company pre-announced the HomePod months earlier so there was likely an initial rush of buyers. Its Q2 performance will give a better indication of its long-term prospects.
Reviews of the first-generation HomePod have been mixed. Sound quality received top marks but there were frequent complaints about the Siri voice assistant’s lacklusterperformance. The $349 price is also controversial, considering rivals sell for much less.
Amazon on top, Google next
Speaking of the competition, Amazon sold 4 million Echo speakers in the January-to-March period, giving it 43.6 percent of the global market.
Google was in second place. Its 2.4 million shipments gave it a 26.5 percent share.
This time last year, Amazon dominated the smartspeaker market, with a whopping 81.8 percent share. But Google came on strong, increasing its shipments 709 percent year over year. HomePod sales helped a bit at dethroning Alexa, too.
Google’s extremely rapid growth shows that this market is far from mature. And the whole category is in flux. “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. We are clearly heading towards to a time in the not too distant future when voice becomes a standard mode of technology interaction alongside established approaches like keyboard, mouse and touchscreen,” said David Mercer, Vice President at Strategy Analytics.