“Earlier this month, HomePod pre-orders began shipping, and as of February 9, excited new owners began receiving their speakers,” Ben Arnold writes for The NPD Group Blog. “HomePod has been one of 2018’s most anticipated products in what has proven to be one of the industry’s most intriguing product categories, and early demand for the speaker did not disappoint. In fact, in the U.S., day one pre-orders of HomePod were higher than all other smart speaker first day pre-orders, except Amazon’s Echo Dot, according to NPD’s Checkout service. With Siri, Apple Music, and HomeKit, Apple has all the necessary integrations to be a success in the smart speaker market.”

“HomePod also represents Apple’s entry into the premium audio hardware market. Apple has made it a point to emphasize the audio fidelity of HomePod, in addition to its smart capabilities; and while the device will surely compete with other premium voice-activated speakers, like Sonos’ One, and Google Home Max, it will also jostle for share with audio heritage brands like Bose, Harman Kardon, and Sony,” Arnold writes. “Apple’s success in audio was on display throughout much of 2017 as AirPods became the top-selling headphone product by year’s end (based on dollars and units2). Further, if taken together, Beats and Apple were the top-selling headphone brand of 2017, accounting for 44 percent of all dollar sales (not just wireless).”

Apple's all-new HomePod

Apple’s all-new HomePod


 
“Much of AirPods’ success has hinged on the device’s ability to unite different parts of Apple’s ecosystem (in particular Siri and iOS),” Arnold writes. “While HomePod will fill a similar role in Apple households, the new focus on sound quality means Apple is not merely looking to impact smart speakers, but has its sights set on a larger disruption in connected audio.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Comparing Apple’s HomePod to Amazon’s Echo Dot is like comparing a BMW M5 to a Chevy Spark.

SEE ALSO:
Apple HomePod hits 3 percent in U.S. market share – February 22, 2018
Here are the Siri commands you’ll use most with your HomePod – February 21, 2018
How to control your home with the HomePod – February 20, 2018
Jean-Louis Gassée: The trouble with Apple HomePod reviews – February 20, 2018
Steve Crandall: Apple’s HomePod is the next big step in home audio – February 13, 2018
Apple HomePod: The audiophile perspective plus 8 1/2 hours of measurements; HomePod is 100% an audiophile-grade speaker – February 12, 2018
Apple’s HomePod is actually a steal at $349 – January 26, 2018
Digital Trends previews Apple’s HomePod: Impressive sound coupled with strong privacy – January 26, 2018
Hands on with Apple’s HomePod: Attractive, ultra-high-quality speaker, an excellent Siri ambassador – January 26, 2018
Apple’s HomePod, the iPod for your home – January 25, 2018
One hour with Apple’s new HomePod smart speaker – January 25, 2018
Apple’s iOS 11.3 beta delivers AirPlay 2 with multi-room playback – January 25, 2018
How Apple is positioning the HomePod and why – January 24, 2018
How I got talked into buying an Apple HomePod despite my reservations – January 24, 2018
Tim Cook says audio quality puts HomePod ahead of ‘squeaky-sounding’ competition – January 24, 2018
Apple’s HomePod arrives February 9th, available to order this Friday, January 26th – January 23, 2018
Apple delays HomePod release to early 2018 – November 17, 2017
Apple reveals HomePod smart home music speaker – June 5, 2017