Strategy Analytics: Apple shipped 600,000 HomePods in Q1 for 6% share of smart speaker market

According to the latest quarterly research from Strategy Analytics, global smart speaker shipments reached 9.2 million units in Q1 2018. Market leader Amazon is estimated to have shipped 4 million smart speakers during the quarter though its global market share has nearly halved from the same period last year. Google and Alibaba consolidated their number two and three rankings while Apple became the fourth largest smart speaker brand worldwide following the launch of the HomePod in February 2018. Strategy Analytics’ latest smart speaker report, “Global Smart Speaker Vendor & OS Shipment and Installed Base Market Share by Region: Q1 2018” provides detailed quarterly metrics for twenty smart speaker vendors and twelve voice operating systems.

Global Smart Speaker Shipments by Vendor in Q1 2018¹
(Shipments in Millions of Units)
Global Smart Speaker Shipments by Vendor in Q1 2018
Source: Strategy Analytics Smart Speaker service
¹Numbers are rounded.

David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement, “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.”

Apple's HomePod
Apple’s HomePod

David Mercer, Vice President at Strategy Analytics added, “Further strong growth in smart speaker sales confirms our view that this new market is far more than just a flash in the pan. Today’s smart speakers are by no means the finished article but they have captured the consumer imagination and we will see rapid evolution in design, functionality and associated use cases over the coming years. We are clearly heading towards to a time in the not too distant future when voice becomes a standard mode of technology interaction alongside established approaches like keyboard, mouse and touchscreen.”

Source: Strategy Analytics, Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Not too bad, especially since HomePod was not released until February 9th, nearly halfway through calendar Q1. Imagine if Apple hadn’t missed last Christmas!

Again, you simply cannot miss the Christmas shopping season and not pay a steep price. For Apple, the price is a lost year and millions of potential customers lost to other ecosystems – perhaps temporarily, perhaps permanently; regardless they will be much harder to land had Apple had product on the shelves for Christmas.

A finally finished HomePod (with flawless multi-room audio and stereo pairing out of the box) and, potentially others in the HomePod family, are products for Christmas 2018 and beyond.MacDailyNews, April 13, 2018

14 Comments

  1. I can actually imagine if Apple hadn’t missed Christmas, with a lot of things, This will settle into Apples typical 8 to 10 percent market share that everything they make ends up with.

    The sad part is that Apple always seems happy with that share. I haven’t seen one compelling commercial for HomePod.

    1. I often wonder about Apple’s satisfaction with having low market share percentage but I think that only matters to Wall Street. I believe Apple sees high market share more as diminishing returns if they have to offer a lower-priced product. Nokia was proof enough that high market share percentage doesn’t necessarily stop a company from going bankrupt.

      Apple’s financial model of taking the highest profits and leaving the dregs for other companies seems to work quite well for Apple. However, it does seem to turn off big investors who always want the whole pie and not just the most profitable slice. That’s just greed and maybe not the wisest way of running a business. Apple’s high-quality branding will not work for cheap products, so Apple is only going to be able to sell but so many units in any category. Cheapskates will have to look elsewhere.

      1. I don’t see any reason why Apple should not be comfortable with having a modest market share which generates immense profits. I wonder much more about why anybody obsesses about market share and disregards profits? There have been any number of tech ( and numerous retail ) companies getting into trouble after selling large number of items at next to no profit. Profit is the engine which powers successful businesses, turnover is simply one part of the profit equation.

        Wall Street analysts dealing with the automobile business have no problems understanding why Mercedes with it’s relatively small market share is consistently one of the most profitable and respected companies in that sector. They also fully aware of how the manufacturers of low cost, mass market vehicles are struggling and the analysts certainly know why.

        I’ve never understood why analysts covering the tech industry have been consistently unable to recognise that Apple, with it’s relatively low market share, consistent, massive profits and products setting the standard and style for the entire industry should be regarded as a huge success story. Those same analysts seem over-enamoured by other tech companies which either fail to make meaningful profits, or have a business which is anything but solid.

        Apple is very successful at selling to the market sector which it chooses to operate in and Apple’s financial results for a couple of decades have shown a strong upward trajectory. However for maybe twice as long as that, Apple has been said to be doomed according to many analysts and that agenda is still being promoted, despite being shown to be ridiculously wrong so many times before.

    2. The iPhone actually has a 15.6 percent market share at the moment.

      But if I’m a company, I’d much rather have a 10 percent market share and a 90 percent profit share than the other way around.

  2. 6%?!!! That means the industry pundits can claim Apple has another failed product on its hands in terms of market share percentage, as usual. Siri and HomePod have been declared the laughingstock of smart devices. For shame, for shame. Just another good reason for analysts to downgrade Apple.

    Ginormous Amazon Echo sales only proves that Amazon deserves a $1T market cap and Apple doesn’t. Oh, well.

    /s

  3. So, arriving halfway through the quarter, in 3 countries representing less than 10% of world population, without fully enabled capabilities that will be coming in iOS 11.4 (AirPlay 2, Calendar synch, etc), they still managed to take 6% global market share…..

  4. None of the articles I’ve read today on this subject mention that the HomePod was not available until early February. That’s about seven weeks of sales or over 85,000 per week.

  5. There will always be early adopters willing to blow money on the latest thing.

    Since the homepod doesn’t work better than our existing entertainment system by any measure, we’ll pass.

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