HomePod occupies 4 percent of smart speaker market as sector growth soars

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Analysts suggest the HomePod could capture ten percent of the smart speaker market by 2022, slowly catching up with its rivals as the sector itself grows exponentially.

Canalys' current market share rankings


A new report from Canalys projects a huge amount of growth in the smart speaker market, in which Apple's HomePod will play a part, albeit a relatively small one.

Canalys predicts the worldwide install base of the smart speaker category will approach 100 million by the end of 2018 -- a 2.5-fold increase over the end of 2017. The report also finds that the Apple HomePod's market share at the end of this year will reach 4 percent, compared to 50 percent for Amazon's Echo and 30 percent for Google Home products.

By 2022, Canalys says, Apple will reach 10 percent of the market, with Google and Amazon tied with 34 percent each. The report also found that the U.S. comprises 73 percent of the market, with the U.K. second with 10 percent and Germany third with 8 percent.

The last time Canalys put out quarterly smart speaker figures, in May, Google led with market share of 36.2 percent, following by Amazon with 27.7 percent and a pair of Chinese manufacturers taking the third and fourth spots ahead of Apple.

How Apple fell behind

HomePod in French Apple Store


Apple is behind Google and Amazon in the smart speaker race for several reasons, mostly related to its late start and to the HomePod's higher price point.

In addition, the HomePod has only recently become available in new territories, arriving in Canada, France and Germany last month, while the competition's availability has been widespread for longer.

In addition, Apple has been criticized in some quarters for not opening the HomePod up to third-party developers, as well as various problems that have plagued Siri ever since its launch.

However, it's still very early in the HomePod's development, and projections are merely projections.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    ravnorodomravnorodom Posts: 104member
    By 2020, I think Apple will ditch the product just like its previous boom box. By Apple standard, this is not even an acceptable number.
    vukasika
  • Reply 2 of 46
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,883member
    I have a HomePod, but right now I can't recommend it to friends or family. 

    The problem is that Siri is an embarrassment. I don't even try to ask Siri to do anything other than play music, and she routinely screws that basic task up. if she were able to do anything right, I'd expect it to be playing music (given that it's a speaker!), but nope. 

    Just to clarify, Siri does understand words pretty well. The problem is figuring out intent/meaning. I actually suspect that if Apple were to ditch the whole "machine learning" approach and instead just write a whole bunch of "if" statements, they might end up with a more usable product (although clearly in the long run, ML is going to be needed)


    Solivukasika
  • Reply 3 of 46
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,883member
    By 2020, I think Apple will ditch the product just like its previous boom box. By Apple standard, this is not even an acceptable number.
    I hope that's not what happens. Apple should fix the product. This is something they need to get right. I don't think retreat is an option. 
    claire1caladanianjony0
  • Reply 4 of 46
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,735member
    I's like to see the same graph but based on profits.

    As an aside, I now have Alexa, Goggle assistant and Siri on my iPhone and after hours of asking them all the same questions it is pretty amazing for me to discover Alexa and Google assistant are just as prone to the 'I don't know that' as Siri. 
    StrangeDayscornchipronnjbdragoncrossladcrossladjony0
  • Reply 5 of 46
    thedbathedba Posts: 457member
    By 2020, I think Apple will ditch the product just like its previous boom box. By Apple standard, this is not even an acceptable number.
    I beg to differ. 
    By 2020, Apple would probably capture the top 10% of the market and 90% of the profits from this sector. 
    They’ll let Amazon and Google battle it out for the scraps.
    foregoneconclusionStrangeDaysronncaladanianpropodjony0
  • Reply 6 of 46
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,614member
    thedba said:
    By 2020, I think Apple will ditch the product just like its previous boom box. By Apple standard, this is not even an acceptable number.
    I beg to differ. 
    By 2020, Apple would probably capture the top 10% of the market and 90% of the profits from this sector. 
    They’ll let Amazon and Google battle it out for the scraps.
    This! Its not always who sells the most. Apple doesn't always sell the most iPhones, yet they always take the most profits. That being said, you have cell phone makers that are either out of business or very close. This is what happens when you compete on price. A race to the bottom. The only people who care about who sells the most are clueless shareholders who think they know how to run Apple better than Apple does. 

    Also, what constitutes as no an acceptable number by Apple? Only Apple know what its sales goals were. I don't know where this came from, but it seems like some think every single Apple product will sell like iPhone does and if it doesn't, then its automatically a failure and they should just ditch it. 

    Things take time to get going. Apple Watch didn't exactly set the world on fire (or so it seemed) at first and now look at it. 
    edited July 9 vukasikajony0
  • Reply 7 of 46
    I don't even try to ask Siri to do anything other than play music, and she routinely screws that basic task up.
    I think you need to refer to Apple's suggested queries for music. I've never had trouble with anything other than the occasional pronunciation difference for an artist name vs. what Siri uses.
    StrangeDaysjaayco
  • Reply 8 of 46
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,766member
    MacPro said:
    I's like to see the same graph but based on profits.

    As an aside, I now have Alexa, Goggle assistant and Siri on my iPhone and after hours of asking them all the same questions it is pretty amazing for me to discover Alexa and Google assistant are just as prone to the 'I don't know that' as Siri. 
    Everything about Siri is part of the meme culture which delves in provocation more than facts
    StrangeDaysjony0
  • Reply 9 of 46
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,446member
    Siris is an embarrassment? Give me a frickin’ break, Scott. Hyperbole is the last ditch effort of fools. 
    jbdragonjony0
  • Reply 10 of 46
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,312member
    Here is one data point, recently I have been in people's homes who had an Alexa device and they were all unplugged, not bein used.

    My wife's family does a family vacation to the beach every couple of years and we rent a large beach house. This years house had an Alexa device, but someone in the family unplugged it and when ask about it everyone just said to leave it unplug. They were not interested in it randomly responding and listen to the "what happens at the beach vacation says at the beach" conversations.

    That installed base number I would image will be meaningless, people are buying these things and within a short period of time they seem not to be using them. Installed yes, but useful not at all.
    jony0
  • Reply 11 of 46
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,406member
    MacPro said:
    I's like to see the same graph but based on profits.

    As an aside, I now have Alexa, Goggle assistant and Siri on my iPhone and after hours of asking them all the same questions it is pretty amazing for me to discover Alexa and Google assistant are just as prone to the 'I don't know that' as Siri. 
    Why? Everyone knows what Apple’s business model is and that Google and Amazon have completely different business models. I suppose someone could throw up a chart showing Apple is more profitable than Sonos if that makes some people feel better about Apple.
  • Reply 12 of 46
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 446member
    ...I'd like to see a SIRI-less audio only option at a lower price, adding an external analog/digital input, presumably both for stereo pairing, home entertainment systems...
    blastdoor
  • Reply 13 of 46
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,883member
    ...I'd like to see a SIRI-less audio only option at a lower price, adding an external analog/digital input, presumably both for stereo pairing, home entertainment systems...
    That's a great suggestion. 
  • Reply 14 of 46
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,883member

    I don't even try to ask Siri to do anything other than play music, and she routinely screws that basic task up.
    I think you need to refer to Apple's suggested queries for music. I've never had trouble with anything other than the occasional pronunciation difference for an artist name vs. what Siri uses.
    Thanks for the suggestion -- I will do that. 

    But I have to say... the need to do that isn't really consistent with the "it just works" user experience that Apple generally aspires to. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 46
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,883member

    lkrupp said:
    Hyperbole is the last ditch effort of fools. 
    Quoted for truth and irony. 
  • Reply 16 of 46
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 297member
    SJ once said something about skating to where the puck will be. That's fine, but occasionally even Gretzky skated to where he expected it to be but the play went somewhere else.

    Apple thought the point of a Smart Speaker was the speaker. The market is going for smart. This means that comparatively lousy sounding entries from Amazon and Google with better AIs and a cheaper price are beating out Apple whose product may have great sound but is crippled by a poor AI and very high cost.

    Apple just messed up, that's all. It happens.
    edited July 9 lmacentropys
  • Reply 17 of 46
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 297member
    maestro64 said:
    Here is one data point, recently I have been in people's homes who had an Alexa device and they were all unplugged, not bein used.

    My wife's family does a family vacation to the beach every couple of years and we rent a large beach house. This years house had an Alexa device, but someone in the family unplugged it and when ask about it everyone just said to leave it unplug. They were not interested in it randomly responding and listen to the "what happens at the beach vacation says at the beach" conversations.

    That installed base number I would image will be meaningless, people are buying these things and within a short period of time they seem not to be using them. Installed yes, but useful not at all.
    Oh IMO that is VERY likely. Once the novelty wears off I suspect most of these first gen AI assistants will disappear into a drawer.
    edited July 9 jony0
  • Reply 18 of 46
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,883member
    DAalseth said:
    SJ once said something about skating to where the puck will be. That's fine, but occasionally even Gretzky skated to where he expected it to be but the play went somewhere else.

    Apple thought the point of a Smart Speaker was the speaker. The market is going for smart. This means that comparatively lousy sounding entries from Amazon and Google with better AIs and a cheaper price are beating out Apple whose product may have great sound but is crippled by a poor AI and very high cost.

    Apple just messed up, that's all. It happens.
    I agree they messed up, but I don't think they messed up by having a high quality speaker. I think that was the right thing to do (it's why I bought a HomePod). They messed up by having a crappy AI. If they fix that, then I think they can get their usual 10 to 15% of the market, skimmed right off the top (where all the profit lives). 
    entropysMacProjony0
  • Reply 19 of 46
    techprod1gytechprod1gy Posts: 825member
    Apple HomePod is great. I have this product in 4 rooms right now. The basic SIRI commands work good. I primarily use music request, set timer and add to list functions. All work great. The sound is fantastic. I would like SIRI functions to expand a bit and in a house of 5 people I would like multi user support. Linking to 1 Apple ID is tough for my specific case. I see marketshare increase due to quality of product and Apple ecosystem.
    StrangeDaysforegoneconclusionjaaycojcs2305MacPro
  • Reply 20 of 46
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,208member
    DAalseth said:
    SJ once said something about skating to where the puck will be. That's fine, but occasionally even Gretzky skated to where he expected it to be but the play went somewhere else. Apple thought the point of a Smart Speaker was the speaker. The market is going for smart. This means that comparatively lousy sounding entries from Amazon and Google with better AIs and a cheaper price are beating out Apple whose product may have great sound but is crippled by a poor AI and very high cost. Apple just messed up, that's all. It happens.
    I came across this link;

    https://blog.bolt.io/what-cracking-open-a-sonos-one-tells-us-about-the-sonos-ipo-dcab49155643?source=email-a85cb02af0eb-1531147267935-digest.reader------0-49------------------d96737d3_a089_44e1_93c8_8ad360705ed3-1&sectionName=top&gi=3f628ea04a3e

    It appears that Amazon has both over engineered the Echo Plus, likely minimizing future engineering efforts for variations, and has the advantage of maintenance of its margins  over Sonos.

    DAalseth said:
    maestro64 said:
    Here is one data point, recently I have been in people's homes who had an Alexa device and they were all unplugged, not bein used.

    My wife's family does a family vacation to the beach every couple of years and we rent a large beach house. This years house had an Alexa device, but someone in the family unplugged it and when ask about it everyone just said to leave it unplug. They were not interested in it randomly responding and listen to the "what happens at the beach vacation says at the beach" conversations.

    That installed base number I would image will be meaningless, people are buying these things and within a short period of time they seem not to be using them. Installed yes, but useful not at all.
    Oh IMO that is VERY likely. Once the novelty wears off I suspect most of these first gen AI assistants will disappear into a drawer.
    So, high quality speakers are likely bought as speakers, and at least at this point in time, lack of a fully competitive Siri doesn't appear to be a long term liability to Apple not only gaining marketshare, but maintaining those margins by selling high ASP audio products. You note that lots of these are, what I would describe as novelties, and inexpensive ones at that, which will likely see replacement by future smart speakers with superior audio quality.

    Looks to me like there is plenty of room for market expansion in the high quality smart speaker niche, for any company that wants to pursue that. Apple appears to want to pursue that.
    edited July 9
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