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Apple HomePod Numbers And Expectations

smart speaker market, apple homepod, market share, smart speaker, HomePod

Apple HomePod Numbers

Business Wire posted some market research from Strategy Analytics that shows that the Apple HomePod has sold 600,000 units in the first quarter of 2018.  This makes Apple’s smart speaker 4th in the smart speaker market. Amazon has a strong hold on first place with 4 million units shipped followed by Google and Alibaba. 

The market share is as follows:

MANUFACTURER

2018 Q1 SHIPMENTS

2018 Q1 MARKET SHARE

AMAZON

4 MILLION

43.6%

GOOGLE

2.4 MILLION

26.5%

ALIBABA

700,000

7.6%

APPLE

600,000

6%

Although Amazon secured 43.6% of the smart speaker market with 4 million units shipped this year, compared to same time last year that is almost half of the market share Amazon had which was 81%.

Expectations

We will remember that Apple’s HomePod only became available this past February. Even though the 600,000 unit number is below what Apple’s expectations were when they were taking pre-orders. There are good reasons for this. First, this is a new product. I believe the HomePod’s superior sound quality is its strength which may help its market share to grow.

Apple’s Great Wall

A big negative is that Apple’s HomePod only plays nicely within the Apple ecosystem and that it is basically an iOS accessory. No iOS or macOS device with SIRI = No HomePod. And you can only stream from Apple Music. This may be by design but this decision will make those who are not Apple heads consider other options. Perhaps software updates can help make this less painful for non-Apple evangelists? I certainly hope so, there are after all a lot of potential buyers in that category.

Price vs Quality

Then there’s the price. Is it worth it?. When you compare all of these smart speakers the sound quality coming out of the HomePod blows the competition away. Being an ex-musician, I can make the connection between quality and cost of audio equipment. In my opinion, it is worth the higher price tag, but the mass market may not agree.

Some analysts predict Apple will sell over 2 million units before the end of 2018. That alone is a billion dollars. Since we are not even halfway through 2018 there is a very good chance Apple will receive a larger slice of the Smart Speaker pie.

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Carmine Delligatti-Drummer, former Support Manager for Deneba Software, ACD Systems, Mareware, Inc. and Swiss Made Marketing. Avid technology blogger and Managing Editor of Cupertinotimes.com.