Apple’s HomePod Places Sixth in Global Smart Speaker Market in Q4 2019

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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32,342
Stats aside:

I was just at Best Buy on Tuesday, and I stopped over to look at the HomePod. The Demo unit that they had playing was really impressive. I mean think about the size of how big Best Buy is, and the sound was so clear/crisp even from a distance, I was pretty impressed with what that device was able to produce.

The HomePod is Probably one of the most underrated products from Apple in the last five years that deserves more notoriety then it received initially, especially given it’s So much more than a ‘smart speaker’ with all the included technology.
 

ersan191

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2013
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When Google and Amazon give their devices away or charge a nominal fee, HomePod doesn't have to be enormously profitable to reap a much higher share of profits from smart speaker sales.
I'm not referring to Amazon or Google - I'm referring to Baidu, Alibaba, and Xiaomi beating them.
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I don't care. I love my HomePods.
Me too, but if other people don't buy them they could always get abandoned.
 
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k1121j

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2009
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way to expensive for me and my smart home. its not exactly a speaker solution for my movie room either I had one for three months and all I used it for was hey siri and to be honest I can get that from a 30.00 speaker and then afford to put them in every room too. I do hope a cheaper option comes out as I only need the hey siri option and its not worth 300.00 when my phone watch and computers do all that already
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Not overpriced for the sheer quality of the technology and build. It's a high-end speaker with the best microphone array of them all. Just because it's not a low-cost device in a market filled with bottom-feeders doesn't mean it's overpriced itself.
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It's not just the built-in assistant that makes a device "smart". HomePod is smart in that it automatically detects the shape and size of the room, and optimizes the sound output to match... without the user having to do anything. That's smart tech.
I don't think the sound or volume is all that great and my 99.00 Bose Companion® 2 speakers are way louder and about the same amount of base and they are stereo so the 200.00 extra is not worth a microphone in my book.
 
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DaveN

macrumors 6502a
May 1, 2010
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I don't care. I love my HomePods.
I'm with you. I have a pair setup alongside my tv and the sound is just to my taste. My big wish is that they would make it so that when you wake your Apple TV and have the output set to your HomePods that it re-establish that connection. I haven't been able to get Siri shortcuts to do that. As I've said before, great for watching movies on long winter nights.

Edit: My other request... Have more steps in the volume control.
 

JCCL

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2010
739
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Would be interesting to see their share of total smart speakers profits. I'm willing to bet they're taking home at least 20% of total smart speaker profits with only a 5% market share.
Well my friend, if that's the case, as a customer that's nothing to brag about, seems that they excel at selling overpriced stuff more than anyone else.....
 
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CarlJ

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Feb 23, 2004
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I would put Sonos above Apple in the speaker category. Hands down.
Sonos is the one company I would be happy to see Apple buy - they both deal in upscale audio, with tech/networking integration and smart assistant integration, and aim for higher-end customers who want something that JustWorks (TM). Sonos has some nice home theater speakers (no, they're not competitive against carefully chosen components, but, again, it Just Works, and it switches seamlessly from streaming music to playing movies/TV as soon as the TV presents a signal). With or without Sonos, I'd like to see Apple do a "HomePod Home Theater" (either a center channel, or a soundbar-ish HomePod).
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When Google and Amazon give their devices away or charge a nominal fee, HomePod doesn't have to be enormously profitable to reap a much higher share of profits from smart speaker sales.
And, of course, you have to ask yourself why Google and Amazon are giving their devices away...
 
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zinacef

macrumors member
Dec 26, 2018
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I'm with you. I have a pair setup alongside my tv and the sound is just to my taste. My big wish is that they would make it so that when you wake your Apple TV and have the output set to your HomePods that it re-establish that connection. I haven't been able to get Siri shortcuts to do that. As I've said before, great for watching movies on long winter nights.

Edit: My other request... Have more steps in the volume control.
This is something I’m very much interested in creating as I didn’t know it could be done until I read you post. I wasn’t sure I could use 2 HomePods to connect to an AppleTV and a TV for surround sound. Can you possibly DM me to tell me how I can go about setting this up?
 
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Mick-Mac

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Oct 24, 2011
203
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I bought 2 homepods and returned them. My entire music collection is basically a lifetime of collected CDs ripped into iTunes. After my homepod purchases it took quite some time going through my iTunes music in the setting up procedure. When that was all done I proudly asked Siri to play e.g. Bob Dylan only to be greeted with "Sorry, no can do". I tried many other artists and Siri wouldn't play any of them. Turns out Siri will only play music from the Apple Music world - you know, the one where you pay every month. Screw that - I already paid for my music! I've since found out I can airplay my music to the homepods, but for me the whole point was the Siri interface (especially for my wife, who will never deal with airplay). So in order to use the most expensive speaker like I want I have to shell out even more money. Apple would have had many hundreds of my dollars if only they allowed me to seamlessly play the music in my own iTunes library. What a disappointment!
 

DevNull0

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2015
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Would be interesting to see their share of total smart speakers profits. I'm willing to bet they're taking home at least 20% of total smart speaker profits with only a 5% market share.
I'm really not understanding why you think that's a good thing for the customers.

And Amazon and Google probably do make a lot more profit off their smart speakers including the profits they make from user data which is their true business model. If all you care about is profit, that should be a perk to you too. TV makers like Samsung say they can't afford to make a non-smart TV anymore, the sale price of the hardware is not where their profit comes from.
 

Macaholic868

macrumors 6502
Feb 2, 2017
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HomePod is a very niche product. If you don’t have an Apple Music subscription it doesn’t make sense. So right out of the gate it’s a product with limited appeal. If, however, you have an Apple Music subscription and don’t have a quality speaker system in your home then it makes perfect sense. If you have an Apple TV and HomeKit based devices it makes even more sense.

My wife and I love it. We use it to play music, use it to voice control our HomeKit based lighting system and use it as the primary audio playback device for our Apple TV. It sounds amazing for such a small speaker. I think it’s worth every penny, especially now that it can distinguish between voices so things we ask Siri to do are registered under our own individual Apple ID but I recognize it doesn’t make sense for a very large percent of the population.

For those of us who live entirely within the Apple echo system it’s a product that definitely serves an important purpose. It’s a “smart” speaker in terms of the way it can fill a room with great sound almost anywhere you place it. As a “smart speaker” that’s there for you to interact with as an audio based personal assistant its not in the same league as other “smart speakers” but it’s pretty clear to me that’s not the market Apple was trying to compete in. At least not with the first version of the hardware. The HomePod exists to fill a room or multiple rooms with great sounding audio from Apple Music or from other Apple devices with Siri there as a bonus.
 
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DaveN

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May 1, 2010
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This is something I’m very much interested in creating as I didn’t know it could be done until I read you post. I wasn’t sure I could use 2 HomePods to connect to an AppleTV and a TV for surround sound. Can you possibly DM me to tell me how I can go about setting this up?
I must be missing something. The forum won't let me start a DM to you. Nothing secret so I'll post for all to see. Here it goes.

Here is what I did for my Apple TV and Homepods. It really is quite simple.

Step 1. Follow the Homopod installation instructions which basically consists of plugging in your first HomePod and then holding your phone close to it. Name the HomePod. Repeat for the second HomePod but this time you are given the option to make it a left or right stereo speaker in the same location or to say it is in a different room. For me, it is in the same room as the first one and I assigned it the proper left/right setting.

2. Turn on Apple TV and do either “a” or “b” here

a. Go to your AppleTV’s setting“app” and select Video and Audio > Audio Output and select your HomePodsto be the audio output. When you have two HomePods setup as a stereo pair they will show up as the room name and a pair of HomePods. Back out of the menus and enjoy. For some commercials on YouTube, the audio is still played through your tv but iTunes movies and Netflix and YouTubeaudio comes through the HomePods.

or

b. Press and hold the tv icon button to the right of the muni button on your AppleTV remote. Select the Airplay option (the triangle topped with semi circles). Select the HomePod option then back out of the menu and play your movies as desired. Same caveats as above.

AppleTV remembers the selection but if you put the AppleTV to sleep, you have to wake the connection again which I do using option b above but I switch to tv output then back to the HomePod output. Often I won’t bother for YouTube videos but if I’m watching a Hollywood movie with good audio I will make the switch to the HomePods.

Note: This allows you to play the sound from your AppleTV through your HomePods but you cannot play sound originating from your tv or a DVD player, etc. through the HomePods. Not a big deal for ma as my TVs are older so all the on demand video is played through apps on my AppleTV. The tv is just a big monitor.
 
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zinacef

macrumors member
Dec 26, 2018
76
84
I must be missing something. The forum won't let me start a DM to you. Nothing secret so I'll post for all to see. Here it goes.

Here is what I did for my Apple TV and Homepods. It really is quite simple.

Step 1. Follow the Homopod installation instructions which basically consists of plugging in your first HomePod and then holding your phone close to it. Name the HomePod. Repeat for the second HomePod but this time you are given the option to make it a left or right stereo speaker in the same location or to say it is in a different room. For me, it is in the same room as the first one and I assigned it the proper left/right setting.

2. Turn on Apple TV and do either “a” or “b” here

a. Go to your AppleTV’s setting“app” and select Video and Audio > Audio Output and select your HomePodsto be the audio output. When you have two HomePods setup as a stereo pair they will show up as the room name and a pair of HomePods. Back out of the menus and enjoy. For some commercials on YouTube, the audio is still played through your tv but iTunes movies and Netflix and YouTubeaudio comes through the HomePods.

or

b. Press and hold the tv icon button to the right of the muni button on your AppleTV remote. Select the Airplay option (the triangle topped with semi circles). Select the HomePod option then back out of the menu and play your movies as desired. Same caveats as above.

AppleTV remembers the selection but if you put the AppleTV to sleep, you have to wake the connection again which I do using option b above but I switch to tv output then back to the HomePod output. Often I won’t bother for YouTube videos but if I’m watching a Hollywood movie with good audio I will make the switch to the HomePods.

Note: This allows you to play the sound from your AppleTV through your HomePods but you cannot play sound originating from your tv or a DVD player, etc. through the HomePods.
Perfect! Thank you so much!
 
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incoherent_1

macrumors regular
Oct 19, 2016
187
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Odd that Sonos isn’t included. Either they’re making up nearly all of “others”, they were excluded, or this data is suspect.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,153
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In between a rock and a hard place
Not overpriced for the sheer quality of the technology and build. It's a high-end speaker with the best microphone array of them all. Just because it's not a low-cost device in a market filled with bottom-feeders doesn't mean it's overpriced itself.
The HP is not a high-end speaker. That's not a knock on the HP. That's just what is. It's priced decidedly as a lower mid-tier offering. Still too high at release for what it is imo, but neither the pricing nor the speaker are high-end. It is priced higher than most of the speakers it's being compared against.

I think it's overpriced because it's a niche device with limited appeal that didn't have to be so limited. $200 for an ecosystem locked speaker that has nice sound... fair, imo. $3-350? Naaaah.


It's not just the built-in assistant that makes a device "smart". HomePod is smart in that it automatically detects the shape and size of the room, and optimizes the sound output to match... without the user having to do anything. That's smart tech.
Multiple smart speakers have acoustical awareness. It's not really the differentiation you seem to think it is. The homepod is a nice sounding speaker that was unfortunately hobbled with the lack of i/o. With proper i/o the reach of the homepod would have been much greater. Probably doubling(at least) the current market share imo considering it's still in limited release. If Apple offers another version, I'm almost certain they won't neglect the i/o.
 
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CarlJ

macrumors 68040
Feb 23, 2004
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San Diego, CA, USA
Odd that Sonos isn’t included. Either they’re making up nearly all of “others”, they were excluded, or this data is suspect.
The relevant Sonos speakers (the One and the Beam) aren't really marketed so much as "smart speakers" but rather as "whole-home speakers that can do Alexa/GoogleHome".
 
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Baymowe335

macrumors 603
Oct 6, 2017
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shocking.........6th? Price and Siri has nothing to do with it?
More like it being a completely different product?

You also need to update your “Siri sucks” firmware. Real world testing has proven Siri is as good or even better at certain things than competiting assistants.