Apple HomePod took 4.7% share of global smart speaker market in 2019

Apple HomePod took 4.7% share of global smart speaker market in 2019, as the global market reached a new high with sales of 146.9 million units for the year, an increase of 70% on 2018, according to new research from Strategy Analytics.

Apple HomePod market share - Image: Apple's HomePod
Apple’s HomePod
Amazon remained the leading brand with a share of 26.2%, down from 33.7% 2018. Google retained second place with a 20.3% share, also down from 25.9% the previous year. Chinese vendors Baidu, Alibaba and Xiaomi all increased their shares, while Apple remained in sixth place with 4.7%.

Sales in Q4 2019 also achieved a new record of 55.7 million units, the highest ever quarterly sales figure. They were driven by strong holiday sales in the US and Europe, as well as a recovery in Google’s smart speaker business following new product introductions, improved components supply and strong promotional activity. Strategy Analytics expects 2020 to be another record year for smart speaker sales, in spite of the near-term impact of disruption to supply and demand caused by the coronavirus.

David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement: “Consumer appetite for smart speakers remained undimmed during the all-important Q4 period as newly launched devices with improved feature sets and audio performance helped drive record quarterly shipments. Consumers across the world were once again enticed by scarcely believable deals from leading brands such as Google, Amazon, Baidu and Alibaba, while Google in particular stepped up its giveaway promotional activity in partnership with brands such as YouTube and Spotify.”

David Mercer, Vice President at Strategy Analytics, added, “In 2019 Amazon and Google retained their strong leadership positions in North America and Europe, where they accounted for more than three quarters of all smart speaker sales. However, their shares fell slightly in both regions, confirming our user research findings that buyers are prepared to invest in other brands. Competing vendors must focus resources on specific smart speaker customer segments and use cases in order to maximize revenues and profitability.”

Strategy Analytics: New Record for Smart Speakers As Global Sales Reached 146.9 Million in 2019

The full report from Strategy Analytics’ Smart Speakers and Screens (SSS) service, Smart Speaker Vendor & OS Shipment and Installed Base Market Share by Region: Q4 2019 can be found here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, despite Apple’s late start, HomePod can grow to exceed 10% sooner than later. We’d love to see a estimate of U.S. smart speaker revenue share where we suspect HomePod is doing significantly better than in unit share, especially when the $299 unit is lumped in with $49 or less units (Amazon’s Echo Dot currently is going for $29).

4 Comments

  1. That’s what happens when a company puts a $400 product up against a $50 or $100 product. Massive loss of market share percentage. Apple seems as though it didn’t care about that smart speaker market, at all. Too bad, as it could have put up some sort of fight just to show it has the chops to hang with those other tech companies.

    Of course, I wouldn’t want a listening device in every room in my house, so only one would suffice. Not that I have intentions of putting any dedicated listening devices in my house. High quality but stupid BT speakers will do just fine. I have a couple of FireTVs and Macs with Siri but I simply don’t enjoy talking to devices. I have occasionally requested sports scores or the weather, but not much more. Assistants definitely have good value, but they’re just not something I use.

    1. I use mine mostly to ask for music. They’re fantastic when you have little kids who are old enough to know what songs they want but too young to give their own decide. And the sound quality is maybe 80% of a proper hifi rig that would cost easily triple what a pair of HomePods cost and take triple to space too. Started with one but the stereo pair is definitely the way to go for music. Apple clearly designed and priced these as a low-end audiophile music alternative, not mainly as a way to use Siri to answer questions or (ugh) do your shopping. For those purposes they’re obviously overkill on size/sound/price and sadly the range of people who want 80% of real hifi sound quality in a small convenient package at a $600 price (per room) is just not that large I guess. It’s a bit of a strange spot even for me; I actually wish they had a $1500 version that were 3x the size and with even louder/better sound for the main listening room; yet $600 a room is too much to put them in as many rooms as I’d like (so far). They’d probably do well to expand the range both larger and smaller in the next few years. But sadly that may not be the Apple way so not holding my breath too hard.

  2. Once they’ll get Siri on par with us, with home kit, their own devices, Apple will release a sub homepod. Homepod is geeky luxury audio quality device now. It has promising ventures.

    1. Here’s a novel concept: stop chasing Amazon.

      Maybe the Homepod needs to ditch the speaker array and focus on being a hub for much better Homekit operation and control, as well as a rock solid secure local wireless network.

      Siri, a work in progress at best, already exists on all iOS and Mac devices. I suspect that the home-based voice assistant fad will die. Frankly, it’s annoying to have people attempt yell across a room at their electronic cans — the results are almost always poor. Apple specifically makes wearable white plastic hearing aids so you can whisper your sweet nothings to Siri to your heart’s content. I find it infinitely more helpful to have a ~4.7″ visual display and a button with silent operation that fits in my pocket. To each his own. Apple already offers both.

      If you want Apple to provide a countertop audio hub, the middle ground between audio excellence and cheap talking cans is already filled. Apple doesn’t need to offer me-too hardware. The real money is in the underlying glue that makes streaming possible: it’s called Airplay. You don’t need a middle man can to push synthesized 3D mono audio at you. Upgraded AirPort Express units with the latest networking and Airplay2 tech would have been better — you just plug in any speakers you wish into them. Plug it into your TV soundbar if you like monopole reflected sound.

      It’s sad that Apple couldn’t keep its Airport lineup current. Was it too complicated for Apple to explain to users? The vast majority of people, including Apple retailers, never understood the excellent Airplay functions of the little gem Airport Express units. Most people still don’t know that Airport Express and the old MacBooks offered Toslink digital audio that could losslessy connect to powered speakers (such as this: https://bryston.com/active-loudspeakers/) for dramatically better sound than any Sonos or Amazon or Apple solution.

      Finally, if Apple intends to be a player in home audio, then Beats is the wrong horse to take them there. Apple could have bought Sonos or B&W or some real speaker experts with a long history of Airplay support. Instead they offered an overpriced version of an Amazon Can with a more expensive but still underwhelming monopole speaker limitations. Definitely not impressive in the world of hifi, but 5 times more expensive than what Amazon addicts are willing to pay.

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