Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,020
17,399


Apple remains "largely absent" in the U.S. smart speaker market while Amazon and Google continue to dominate, according to data gathered by Consumer Research Intelligence Partners (CIRP).

HomePodandMini-feature-orange.jpg

Since 2017, Amazon has been the dominant company in the smart speaker market, with over two-thirds of smart speakers in U.S. homes being Amazon devices. Google holds about a one-quarter share of smart speaker devices, while Apple and Facebook have the small remaining share.

Josh Lowitz, CIRP partner and co-founder, said that while the installed base of smart speakers added over 25 million units over the past year, reaching a total of 126 million units, Apple still "failed to make meaningful inroads." According to Lowitz, Apple's original HomePod strategy, "with a single premium-priced model competing against products that included low-priced entry-level devices" struggled to gain a significant share of sales, which has led to other brands growing faster and establishing a grip on consumers.

Last year, Apple discontinued the original HomePod and introduced the HomePod mini, a smaller smart speaker priced at just $99. In spite of the launch of the HomePod mini, CIRP's data shows little change between Apple's market share in 2020 and 2021.

smart-speaker-market-share-2021-cirp.jpg

CIRP estimates that over 20 million U.S. households have more than one Amazon Echo device, while about eight million U.S. households have multiple Google Home units, meaning that 43 percent of Amazon Echo owners and 38 percent of Google Home owners have more than one smart speaker. By comparison, only two million households have more than one HomePod.

Apple is rumored to be rethinking its smart home strategy, scrapping an updated model for 2022, and introducing new HomePod models, including one with a screen and a camera for FaceTime calls and one that is combined with an Apple TV.

CIRP's latest data was based on a survey of 500 U.S. owners of Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, surveyed from July 1 to July 8, 2021, who owned one of these devices as of June 30, 2021.

Article Link: Apple Remains 'Largely Absent' in U.S. Smart Speaker Market
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: peanuts_of_pathos

trainwrecka

macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2007
500
632
Earth
This doesn't shock me. I've been on the fence for a HomePod, but the privacy invasion of a speaker that is always listening doesn't appeal to me. No, I don't use "Hey, Siri!" either. It is really cool, but the hassle of using it only when I need it, makes the bluetooth speaker I currently have better since it is portable.
 

jonnyb098

macrumors 68040
Nov 16, 2010
3,519
3,769
Michigan
Discontinue a $299 speaker to introduce $550 headphones…..also Siri is meh. Sometimes great, other times barely works. That inconsistency has pushed millions away from remembering to use Siri for many things. Now after ten years we will soon get on device processing for the most basic things……took TEN ***** YEARS!!

Personally I love my HomePod for music, it sounds incredible especially given it’s size. But apple didnt learn its lesson from that other $349 speaker no one bought. It should’ve been 299 to start and fall to 199 over time and make it a full product lineup. Make a “travel pod ” for on the go, etc etc. Also the homepod mini naming makes zero sense now.

Lots of untapped potential for the HomePod lineup if they bothered.
 
Last edited:

jamcgahey

macrumors regular
Sep 24, 2020
144
318
Maine
I love my full sized Homepod, but like the old iPod docking speakers they tried to make back in the day it was short lived. I know the rumors have them developing some sort of iPad/speaker combo thing, you can't ignore the fact that the discontinued the full sized Homepod very quickly. Mine was expensive and they discontinued only after, what, a few years? This deters people other then apple addicts from purchasing products like these.

Before I get a dislike I want to be clear...I love my homepod, but for an exclusively plug in only speaker it was expensive and they discontinued it so quickly.

I bet when they release a wireless version or double down on the minis you'll see a slow increase in shares.
 

jancz

macrumors newbie
Jul 19, 2009
21
20
Honestly don't get it now, as HP Mini is cheap.

Yes, Siri's still missing logical operators - AND, IF, OR. That's my biggest complain, but what else???!

In 95% of cases I use Siri just to turn on/off lights, add reminders/timers a of course play music.
 

FrizzleFryBen

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2009
421
49
Charlotte, NC
I tried the HomePod mini - I really did try to like it, but it just doesn't work well for me out of the box and after setup. I tried incredibly hard to like it's functionality. I wanted to replace all of our Amazon speakers with Apple.

We're an all Mac house - all have Mac laptops and iPhone... however, adoption here was a resounding rejection of the HomePod.

After 6 months of the mini, I still don't understand how the touch display functions. I keep it in my office for airplay from my iPhone but that's about it.

Otherwise, I now have a house full of Alexa units (12) and about 16 lights or outlets setup. It's just stupid easy to setup and use. My internet never goes out, so voice recognition is never an issue. Do I have concerns with Amazon's privacy - I sure as hell do - but my wife will never let me take them away unless I can get an equal or better solution that doesn't cost a fortune.
 

Jarutais

macrumors newbie
Dec 23, 2020
9
6
Siri and the Shortcuts ecosystem are far behind what Amazon offers with Alexa Skills. If Apple wants to up their game, they should let developers create direct integrations with Siri instead of lame shortcuts that require an app installed on the phone.
 
  • Like
Reactions: xyz01 and hagar

giggles

macrumors 6502a
Dec 15, 2012
835
693
There’s an always on apple smart speaker on every wrist, in every pocket, in every ear canal, while the OG homepod debacle and “good Siri” feeling like it’s always coming next year are undeniable, it should be taken into account that Apple’s assistant lives in a lot of other places too and maybe that’s enough for some people.
 

mrat93

macrumors 68000
Dec 30, 2006
1,670
626
I think most consumers have a hard time justifying spending $99 on something which, on paper, is nearly functionally identical to Amazon and Google devices which have cost $20-30 for years. (Yes — ecosystem, texting, Siri, I get it.)

I’m looking forward to Apple releasing a screen model for $249 and for people to scratch their heads asking why it’s not selling.
 

adam8810

macrumors newbie
Feb 16, 2010
3
2
I bought a HomePod Mini and don't know what to do with it because my iPhone is also always listening for "Hey Siri" as well and can do significantly more than the HomePod can. Will be returning within return period.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RedRage and nvmls

Apple Knowledge Navigator

macrumors 68020
Mar 28, 2010
2,324
5,976
Hardly surprising.

I recall Tim Cook saying several times that Apple would only enter a market if it believed it could make a meaningful contribution. But he must be oblivious to the problem at hand: HomePod is trying to dictate to the market rather than serving the customer by solving a genuine problem.

Amazon and Google have the market because they offer the same - or similar - services at a broad range of prices and features that customers can choose from.

But the two features that Apple is going after don't relate well together.

Speaker quality for music playback is more of a treat than an actual selling point, I would guess, for most people who just want the core functionality. And for an AI assistant, Siri just isn't well-connected to match Alexa or Google, to the point where it's a joke.

At $99 the mini is surprisingly good value relative to Apple's other products at the same price, but it's not going to take the market by storm.
 

Sakurambo-kun

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2015
530
531
UK
I have both a Homepod and a Google Home. One is a pretty decent little speaker, the other is an AI in a tiny box.

When I try to ask Siri something 9 times out of 10 it will either not know, or will send a link to my iPhone. (how useful...) When I ask Google, 9 times out of 10 it will just give me the answer.

I've never really understood why Siri is so spectacularly dumb. It's an idiot. My 6 year old nephew knows far more than Siri does. The only time Siri ever knows anything is if you happen to chance upon one of the handful of topics that Apple have selected. Yes it can tell me the weather forecast and what the capital of Sweden is, but if I want to know what a good substitute for garam masala is, what time my local DIY store opens, or what are the healthiest cooking oils (to give three random examples) I may as well be talking to the wall.

Apple have essentially infinite money. They really need to fix this.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.