Apple Sold an Estimated 600,000 HomePod Speakers During the First Quarter of 2018

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Apple sold an estimated 600,000 HomePod speakers during the first quarter of 2018, according to new estimates shared this morning by Strategy Analytics. Apple's sales allowed it to capture just 6 percent of the global smart speaker market, coming in well behind Amazon and Google.

Amazon shipped an estimated 4 million Echo smart speakers during the quarter, for a 43.6 percent share of the market, while Google shipped an estimated 2.4 million Google Home speakers for 26.5 percent market share. Alibaba also came in ahead of Apple with 700,000 shipments, while Xiaomi trailed behind with 200,000.


Apple has a long way to go to catch up to Google and Amazon, both of whom have seen an enormous growth in shipments over the course of the past year. Amazon's shipments increased by two million compared to Q1 2017, while Google's increased by 2.1 million.

Amazon's market share has fallen year over year due to strong sales of Google speakers and new entrants to the market like Apple, Alibaba, and Xiaomi, but Amazon continues to be the number one smart speaker vendor in the world by far.

David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics commented that "Amazon and Google accounted for a dominant 70% share of global smart speaker shipments in Q1 2018 although their combined share has fallen from 84% in Q4 2017 and 94% in the year ago quarter. This is partly as a result of strong growth in the Chinese market for smart speakers where both Amazon and Google are currently absent. Alibaba and Xiaomi are leading the way in China and their strength in the domestic market alone is proving enough to propel them into the global top five."
In total, across all vendors, there were an estimated 9.2 million smart speaker units shipped during the first quarter of 2018. Apple is, at the current time, the fourth largest smart speaker brand worldwide with the HomePod, but its meager sales are not yet impacting major players Google and Amazon.

Both Google and Amazon have been in the smart speaker business for a longer period of time and the two companies also offer speakers at a range of price points. A Google Home speaker, for example, can be purchased for as little as $129 (or $49 for the mini version), while an Amazon Echo costs just $99.99. The Echo Dot is even more affordable at $49.

Apple's sole speaker, the HomePod, is priced at $349. Apple focused heavily on audio quality with the hopes that consumers would be willing to pay more for a device that had superior sound, but the higher price tag, a delayed feature set, and the lack of native support for music services like Spotify have likely stymied Apple's sales.

The HomePod is still new and Apple has just entered the smart speaker market, so improvements and changes to future products could drastically change its position and present some real competition for Amazon and Google. Apple is rumored to be considering a lower-priced HomePod that would perhaps sell for $150 to $200.

Article Link: Apple Sold an Estimated 600,000 HomePod Speakers During the First Quarter of 2018
 

masterleep

macrumors newbie
Oct 19, 2017
26
311
I bought one to operate as a speaker from my phone, knowing that Siri was a steaming pile and not really caring about that aspect of it. The very first time I tried to play music from a playlist at a party, the music kept cutting in and out. This is about the most basic use case imaginable. What the hell, Apple?
 

essential

macrumors regular
Apr 8, 2008
222
75
For me, there are just too many compromises for the price. I see it as a $199-$249 device, max. If it had some sort of line-in maybe I would have talked myself into one but I still doubt it. If it had a line-in and was between $199-$249 I would have bought a launch unit. At this point I'm waiting for the next generation. I doubt we'll ever get a line-in, but one can hope. Also, hope they don't do a "Mini" for a cheaper price. In my opinion, this is the "Mini" and the price should be lowered, and if anything come out with a larger one similar to the Home Max.
 

ifarlow

macrumors regular
Apr 23, 2015
224
228
Georgia
I really, really wanted a HomePod when it was announced. I did whatever research I could do on the device and its features, which was limited as I recall, right up to the point that the device was released. Then the actual reviews started to come in: hobbled by Siri and single-account access but great sound. Plus, $349 for this type of device regardless of the supposed incredible sound is steep, at least for me.

I now have two Echo 2nd Generation devices and will be adding a third soon, and I still haven't reached the price of the HomePod. The sound is fine, nothing earth-shattering, but what's most important for me is the interactive features including Alarm.com, and LG for our washer and dryer. Drop in has worked really well as a whole-home intercom for my wife and I, and the ability to stream SiriusXM is something we use every day.

Still, I wish I could have gotten on board with the HomePod. Perhaps one day Apple will bring their device up to speed.
 

sunapple

macrumors 68000
Jul 16, 2013
1,909
2,813
The Netherlands
I wouldn't buy HomePod to use Siri, I don't use voice assistants at all. I would buy it to have a great speaker for music that conveniently can be controlled with voice. That's not the same to me as Google Home or Amazon Echo product. I'd buy those for the assistant (if I used those).

So these estimated sales figures tell me that smart speakers are more popular than I could imagine and that HomePod isn't in the same league in this regard. How about comparing HomePod to products that are focused on music?
 

isomorphic

macrumors regular
Apr 19, 2010
229
262
Apple did ~$210M in revenue in its first quarter in the category.

HomePod may not have market share, but man, I'd be pretty happy with those kinds of numbers if I were a business--even one the size of Apple.

Personally I won't buy one until the cost/benefit ratio is much better for my particular use case. But one can understand why Apple might not be interested in chasing Amazon to $0.
 

nwcs

macrumors 68000
Sep 21, 2009
1,817
2,250
Tennessee
Overall, I like the HomePod since I got it. Siri is not as useful as Alexa (I used to have Echos) but it was more of a trivia thing than anything useful. The sound is much nicer than the Echo and I’m overall happy with it. I like that my audio isn’t being sent to Amazon for long term storage as well. I’m hopeful that Apple will add features to the HP for the next few years as they have with phones and iPads. If they don’t then I may re-evaluate someday.
 

jimothyGator

macrumors 6502
Jun 12, 2008
268
829
Atlanta, GA
Shouldn't Sonos be on this list?
Sonos is who the HomePod should be compared to. It's silly to compare the HomePod to the Echo, when (I suspect) the vast majority of Echo sales goes to the Echo Dot*, which may be "smart" but whose "speaker" quality ranks just above a tin can and a string.

The HomePod is not positioned as a "smart speaker", it's a high quality speaker for streaming music that happens to have some "smart" features. Just like the Sonos One. The Echo—especially the Echo Dot—is the opposite: a "smart" device that happens to have a speaker.

This is like comparing the sales of a MacBook Pro to a Timex digital watch. Yes, they both can tell the time—and they both have a screen!—but they serve two different purposes.

* Amazon hasn't released sales numbers or a model break down, but the Echo Dot was Amazon's best selling device in 2017.