Apple’s HomePod makes a small dent in smart speaker market in debut quarter

“Apple officially jumped into the smart speaker market in the first quarter with the HomePod, and analysts believe that sales thus far are ‘underwhelming,'” Evan Niu reports for The Motley Fool. “Siri remains less capable than its competing counterparts, HomePod only supports Apple Music for full functionality, and the $350 price tag positions it at a significant premium.”

“Market researcher Strategy Analytics is out with its estimates on the smart speaker market for the first quarter, estimating that Apple shipped approximately 600,000 units after HomePod launched in February,” Niu reports. “Amazon.com is maintaining its strong grip on the market, although its share did drop quite a bit. But the overall market is simply growing so quickly that the e-commerce giant still doubled unit shipments of Echo devices [from 2 million to 4 million].”

“On the earnings call earlier this month, CEO Tim Cook noted that HomePod is only available in the U.S., U.K., and Australia right now, with availability in more markets coming soon,” Niu reports. “Of course, HomePod was only available for about half of the quarter, so its performance isn’t all that representative quite yet.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s too early.

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

SEE ALSO:
Strategy Analytics: Apple shipped 600,000 HomePods in Q1 for 6% share of smart speaker market – May 17, 2018

13 Comments

  1. This is a long game especially after Apples less than stellar development of the product and late entry to market but as with the watch if they get their act together then in two years things may be a lot healthier. Big ‘if’ mind as it will need imagination and a big expansion of Siri capabilities.

    1. The Apple watch unlike the HomePod entered a smartwatch market with practically no real competition and with many functions not yet available in its peers. The Homepod on the other end of the spectrum is entering a fairly well established smart speaker market with much less functionality than its peers. I don’t see Apple catching up any time soon without something more than being an arguably better audio experience.

  2. I make plenty of money to buy a HomePod, but it’s price is sufficient high to make me think twice. Plus, it is yet another piece of an increasingly fragmented Apple approach to the smart home. If these devices are meant to be distributed about the home, then it would make sense to me to include WiFi base station/extender or mesh networking services. That would make the HomePod a much better value.

    Apple also needs to rethink its fragmented stretegy spanning the smart home, media services (video and music), and AI assistant. Apple needs to simplify its approach, not produce a bunch of devices that clutter up a home. I could even see embedding AppleTV functions in a HomePod, although that would require a bit more circuitry.

    1. An Appletv / HomePod combo makes a lot of sense for those who do not have a sound system for their tv.
      HomePod is the first apple product I have not bought as first gen in over 6 years. Part is the cost and part is the limited utility for me.

      For a partial quarter, 600k units is not bad, especially if amazon is only selling 4M. 10M total units means the market is still small compared to phones.

      I’ll wait and see if the HomePod will ever make sense to me. If Siri could get her act together then maybe yes. I still am annoyed that if you ask Siri to remind you to do something she puts in a reminder that has no alarm function. Even when the reminder has an alarm setting nothing happens. Very dumb.

      1. How do you calculate 10M total units? I’m estimating approximate 15M for 5 quarters between 1Q17 to 1Q18 (2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4) given a linear average increase in sales. Also noting that the Amazon Echo entered general release in June 2015 would add quite a few more units to the total. I agree that it is still a very small fraction of smartphone sales but still significantly larger than 10M units.

          1. Depends on whether you’re talking about profit from device sale or profit from use of the device to make other product sales. Amazon has everyone else beat in the latter. As I’ve mentioned before, Amazon has never intended their devices to make a profit from its sale, rather they are yet another ‘gateway’ to reduce friction in purchasing products and services from Amazon.

    2. I agree. But it’s obvious what Apple’s new strategy is moving to. SUBSCRIPTIONS.

      the greedy guys could not be happy with the profit from hardware and software sales for It a PERSONAL computer, the Mac.

      ITunes ala carte , still not enough profit

      Apps — nope, still not enough for Apple.

      Apple is chasing after the easy money that all the other tech companies want to force onto consumers: monthly subscriptions. When the consumer has only a dumb wireless thin client running iOS or Android, it’s just so easy to monopolize everything that is downloaded to it, and monetize it. The novel 1984 is playing out even as we sit and accept it.

  3. HomePod would have sold much better, it it had been available in Germany as well. Lots of my friends bought Google and Amazon speakers in the meantime. I bought one HomePod on eBay. Much better sound than the competition, but much less capabilities than the competition. No idea what Apple was thinking. The price is not the problem, but the capabilities.

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