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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

HomePod shipments totaled 1.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018, a 45 percent increase on a year-over-year basis, according to Strategy Analytics. Despite the growth, the research firm estimates that Apple's share of the worldwide smart speaker market was just 4.1 percent during the quarter.


By comparison, Amazon and Google commanded the market with an estimated 13.7 million and 11.5 million smart speakers shipments respectively. The two companies combined for an estimated 65.5 percent market share in the quarter.


A lot of this comes down to pricing. At $349, the HomePod is significantly more expensive than the Amazon Echo and Google Home. In particular, the smaller Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini models were available for as low as $25 during the holiday season, a fraction of the cost of a HomePod.

"Amazon and Google both have broad model lineups, ranging from basic to high-end, with even more variants from Amazon. Apple of course has only its premium-priced HomePod, and likely won't gain significant share until it offers an entry-level product closer to Echo Dot and Home mini," CIRP co-founder Josh Lowitz said last month.

To improve sales, many resellers offered the HomePod for $249 during the holiday season, and $279 is a commonly seen price too.

Second is the fact that the HomePod is not so smart, as many reviews found, due to Siri's shortcomings compared to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Apple recently restructured its Siri team as it works to make improvements.

A third reason is availability. Apple launched the HomePod two to three years after its largest competitors, and sales remain limited to the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Mexico, China, and Hong Kong. Amazon and Google smart speakers are available in more countries.

Last year, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple was "mulling" a "low-cost version" of the HomePod, potentially due to shipments falling "far below market expectations." It could end up being a Siri-enabled Beats speaker.

Of course, the Strategy Analytics data is estimated to begin with. Apple does not disclose HomePod sales, instead grouping the speaker under its "Wearables, Home, and Accessories" category in its earnings reports alongside the Apple Watch, Apple TV, AirPods, Beats, iPod touch, and other accessories.

Article Link: HomePod Estimated to Have Just 4% Market Share Worldwide Despite 45% Sales Growth Last Quarter


Jul 25, 2016
Whatever tepid interest existed for the HomePod in the international market quickly waned thanks to a combination of delays, value/price ratio, dumb Siri, extreme lockdown to iPhone and Apple Music, and let's not ignore the risk for furniture damage.

It's just not a good buy for the "average" consumer (that everyone seems so keen to bring up) and I doubt a low cost nerfed version would reverse this spell.


macrumors regular
Dec 2, 2017
The problem is simple to solve I think. Start focusing on making Siri a heck of a lot smarter. Apple, you've got to beef up your AI development. You are dead last it seems. I rarely use Siri as it just doesn't do much of anything well. You have enough to blow on stock buybacks, then you have enough to invest in Siri. It's like Maps, Google was way out ahead. You have so much cash. Hire, buy, develop, do what you have to do to be king in this field else you'll find it harder and harder to demand a premium from your customers. Worried about privacy? Ask users to Opt-in to make Siri better. I would.


macrumors 65816
Apr 29, 2015
I own one, but I have *zero* interest in its smart speaker features. If I wanted a smart speaker I'd buy an Echo. But I don't. Smart speakers are stupid. I turned Siri off on mine.

All I wanted was a wireless speaker with great sound quality that I could also use with my Apple TV. It has that in droves.


macrumors regular
Nov 21, 2008
Los Angeles
Sound was great on homepod but, I went sonos... it was the only non Alexa thing in the house so, it was an easy goodbye. Amazon's biggest strength in this department is the "works with alexa" program that contains wifi plugs, lightbulbs, speakers, security etc with little price tags. A 4 pack of wifi plugs was 30 bucks, wifi light bulbs were 30 bucks for a 4 pack the Echo dots were 2 for 50 bucks so to automate my whole place it was under the price of 1 homepod. I had the eve electricity monitor/wifi plug for siri and it was 40 bucks for 1 wifi plug.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 14, 2014
Abu Dhabi
So it is down to pricing, and that it's "not so smart." It's so sad to see the way Apple is going... Premium cost for flawed products. I really hope they find their way again, because this is increasingly tragic to see. When they had high prices and top class products, I was a fan. Now I look elsewhere, but I don't want to have to. Cook is ruining Apple for the longer term.

Winter Charm

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2008
It sounds good, but It's expensive. There are more expensive speakers that *actually* interface with all devices.

If you're going to buy a good speaker, why would you limit yourself to something that only does AirPlay? What about USB, Toslink, and Ethernet or 3.5mm inputs?

I ended up moving my single HomePod in the kitchen, and buying Kef LSX's for the living room.


Jan 9, 2007
Seattle WA
I ended up returning the homepod I own and getting more amazon alexa's. My problems with it is several:

1) Sound Quality - I play audiobooks and other media outside of music on the homepod. The homepod puts too much bass into the sound of anything I play into it. I have no controls to make it sound ok.
2) Philips Hue commands - Homepod doesn't recognize the commands in the same way as Alexa does. So when I ask Alexa to turn on the lights it turns on all the lights. When I ask homepod to turn on the lights it turns on one light. I don't have any apparent controls over that.
3) Alarms - Siri doesn't handle alarms very well. I will wake up to an alarm and ask for the alarm to be snoozed and siri gets confused and speaks very loudly about snoozing the alarm. When I use alexa, the snooze functionality works appropriately and is easy to use.

Generally the Homepod is a failure to me. I guess it's the general lack of specific controls over the homepod. The basic settings are not done well (which is not my usual experience with Apple). Maybe I'll revisit the homepod on version 2.


Oct 6, 2017
I still haven't had anyone articulate specific questions they consistently ask that:

1) Siri can't answer
2) The questions are answered appreciably better by Alexa or Google Assistant.

Most people have not updated their "Siri sucks" firmware in too long. Siri has gotten A LOT better and has even outperformed competition in some tests.
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