Smart speaker penetration hits 20% of U.S. Wi-Fi households

“At the beginning of December, I presented a webinar on the ‘Future of Voice.’ At that time, the penetration of smart speakers was slightly more than 13 percent,” Susan Engleson writes for ComScore. “Recently-released comScore Connected Home data from February show the penetration of smart speakers is now at 20 percent of Wi-Fi homes! In just three months, that’s more than a 50 percent increase to an astounding 18.7 million U.S. homes using a smart speaker.”

“Looking at a chart trending the data over the past nine months, we see the holiday season is when adoption peaked,” Engleson writes. “The increased penetration in November came from smart speakers figuring prominently in Black Friday advertising and promotions, which afforded brick-and-mortar retailers a share of the sales of these decidedly digital devices. Interestingly, the nation’s largest retailer, Walmart, sold only Google – not Amazon devices – and Apple did not capitalize on smart speakers at all this holiday season, releasing the HomePod in early February.”

MacDailyNews Take: Tim Cook’s Apple. Sitting in the penalty box watching others advance the puck.

“With a price tag of $399 [sic] [recte $349], I anticipate adoption of the HomePod is going to be much slower than its less expensive competitors, mainly attracting Apple devotees such as the people who have purchased the iPhone X,” Engleson writes. “We are already seeing solid growth in the number of households with multiple smart speakers, from 20 percent in June 2017 to 30 percent in February 2018. In fact, 10.5 percent of households had three or more of these devices in February 2018. With more households owning multiple smart speakers, the foundation has been laid for the continued expansion and adoption of the fully smart home – as the smart speaker is often the gateway device to enable a smart home.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, HomePod’s late, incomplete start won’t mortally wound the device as it’s actually a rather useful and great-sounding smart speaker (even without yet having achieved multi-room audio or stereo paring capabilities).

The Inquirer reviews Apple’s HomePod: ‘Looks great, sounds fantastic; Siri needs work’ – April 6, 2018
I want another Apple HomePod for sure, maybe two more – March 20, 2018
Sound quality shootout: Apple HomePod vs. two Sonos Ones – March 16, 2018
Barclays: Apple’s AirPods sales continue to grow, HomePod sales have been ‘underwhelming’ – March 9, 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
Missing Christmas: HomePod delay coupled with new competition amplifies Apple’s smart speaker challenge – January 2, 2018
Apple CEO Tim Cook paid close to $102 million for fiscal 2017 – December 28, 2017
Apple’s Phil Schiller: We feel bad about the HomePod delay – December 8, 2017
Echo Dot was Amazon’s Black Friday – Cyber Monday bestseller as Apple’s delayed HomePod waits for 2018 release date – November 28, 2017
Apple’s late, delayed, limited HomePod is looking more and more like something I don’t want – November 27, 2017
Why Apple’s HomePod is three years behind Amazon’s Echo – November 21, 2017
Under ‘operations genius’ Tim Cook, product delays and other problems are no longer unusual for Apple – November 20, 2017
Apple delays HomePod release to early 2018 – November 17, 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook: The ‘operations genius’ who never has enough products to sell at launch – October 23, 2017
Apple reveals HomePod smart home music speaker – June 5, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
Apple is misplaying the hand Steve Jobs left them – November 30, 2016
Apple delays AirPod rollout – October 26, 2016
Apple delays release of watchOS 2 due to bug – September 16, 2015
Apple delays HomeKit launch until autumn – May 14, 2015
Apple delays production of 12.9-inch ‘iPad Pro’ in face of overwhelming iPhone 6/Plus demand – October 9, 2014
Tim Cook’s mea culpa: iMac launch should have been postponed – April 24, 2013

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. “With a price tag of $399…”

    Either I got mine for a steal, paying $349, or else this writer is confused or worse, disingenuous. Either way, it renders his conclusion questionable.

  2. Waste of money. Once you spend 400 dollars or so you would look like an idiot for not saying it’s not as good as stereo speaks for sound reproduction.

    You listen long enough or spend enough money on an item, it will be the greatest thing since sliced bread. This is truly sad. Apple reduce to building a better speaker. Funny, one that listens. Hahahaha.

  3. We already have high quality speakers in each room, connected for many years to Airport Express units (which die after a few years). Those speakers are now getting $20 BT dongles so they can connect to our new Echo Dots ($40each when you buy a pair). Alexa is happy to play our Pandora stations. Echo Dots also flawlessly have integrated with our Hue lights, Fire TV streamers, and Harmony hubs. Considering decommissioning the ATV4 running HomeKit. Not sure of the intended market for HomePod.

    1. Precisely.
      I have high quality audio setup in my home – why would I want to put some toilet paper roll sized mono speaker in my home?

      You can connect a Dot to just about anything- except an Apple HomePod.

  4. Apple counted on their loyal die-hard consumers to pay for the overpriced speakers.

    Even most ‘loyal’ Apple users aren’t stupid nough to pay such an exorbitant price for speakers that came with delayed functionality.

    Apple just refuses to compete with the PC market and actually help provide ‘social justice’ by making their products reasonably priced for those Cook is spending his life — supposedly — to help…

    Apple has always been the Beemer of computers and will remain so….

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