Apple's HomePod seizes 'small but meaningful' portion of US smart speaker market

Posted:
in iPhone
Apple's HomePod is edging its way into the U.S. smartspeaker market, but has plenty of ground to cover if it wants to catch up with industry leaders Amazon and Google.

HomePod


The device has an install base of 6 percent, or about 3 million, according to the latest estimates by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, seen by AppleInsider. Amazon's Echo speakers control about 70 percent, while Google Home devices have 24 percent. The U.S. market is thought to have about 50 million installed speakers in total as of the June quarter.

In a report, CIRP co-founder Josh Lowitz called Apple's performance "a small but meaningful share" claimed from its competitors. At the same time however he noted that Amazon has been in the industry for years, and that both Amazon and Google have low-cost devices believed to account for "at least half" of unit sales.

As a result, "it's not clear how much further Apple can establish itself in the market without a more competitive model," Lowitz remarked. The analysts also failed to mention that the HomePod has yet to see a holiday sales period.

Apple has been gunning for high-end audio with the first-generation HomePod, which costs $349. That makes it far more expensive than the Echo Dot and Home Mini, both of which are around $49. Those products are deliberately bare-bones, but the HomePod is also more expensive than the standard Echo and Home models, priced at $99.99 and $129 respectively.

It's also costlier than devices like the touchscreen-equipped Echo Show and the Alexa-equipped Sonos One, the latter of which is $199 but often compared to the HomePod in sound quality. Sonos is even selling a two-unit bundle for $379, just $30 more than a single Apple speaker.

Also probable, is that Apple is holding a large portion of the profit in the new market segment.

Apple has been rumored as considering a cheaper HomePod model in light of a weak market position. Even a low-cost model could face an uphill battle though, since many Echo and Home owners have multiple speakers and are unlikely to switch over their household.

The HomePod has also been criticized for the limitations of Siri, which is typically considered inferior to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Indeed the only music service natively supported by Siri is Apple Music, whereas Alexa or Assistant users can choose one of several, albeit normally excluding Apple Music unless they're on AirPlay 2-compatible Sonos gear.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
     Apple doesn't care about market share.

    They make a tidy profit on every HomePod they sell. They also use HomePod as a camel's nose Under the Tent in order to solidify their hold on the customer's purchase of future products. All that Apple cares about is maximizing profit. If they could increase profits while servicing only the 1%, they would be eager to do so
    stanhopewelshdogcincyteejony0
  • Reply 2 of 23
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,242member
    The HomePod is definitely hitting above its weight in audio quality. Likely, this is the new battleground, so can't wait until the competition throws stuff against the wall to compete, but will there be some worthy competitors? Likely from Google and Amazon, both of whom have a software advantage over third parties, and Amazon especially with it's embedded sales advantage. Sonos isn't going to get frozen out, but it just makes price point more difficult.
    razorpitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 23
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,635member
    nunzy said:
     Apple doesn't care about market share.

    They make a tidy profit on every HomePod they sell. They also use HomePod as a camel's nose Under the Tent in order to solidify their hold on the customer's purchase of future products. All that Apple cares about is maximizing profit. If they could increase profits while servicing only the 1%, they would be eager to do so
    Why aren't you banned yet? 
    techprod1gysmiffy31franklinjackconnunzymuthuk_vanalingammdriftmeyerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 23
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 318member
    Our HomePod is used every day. Great sound quality. Perfect for the master bath while we get ready in the morning.
    razorpitequality72521chasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 23
    stanhopestanhope Posts: 130member
    I bought one homepod...i have to say, at the time, i had zero intention of ever buying a second one.  The BASS DID IT FOR ME.  There are speakers that put out a ‘ manufactured’ sounding bass.  The homepod has a depth and richness only my 5 feet tall speakers can approximate.  It is more noticeable on certain genres of music than others but it is there.  Subtle but powerful.  I bought a second homepod.  It wasn’t the ‘holy cow’ some youtube reviewers claim but it was a purchase i am glad i made.  You can truly hear the separation between the 2 homepods when you place them 8 or more feet apart.  It is not fair to compare them with amazon or google..to do so is like comparing a Porche and a vw bug just because both are cars. I will say SIRI completely sucks.
    chasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,515member
    macxpress said:
    nunzy said:
     Apple doesn't care about market share.

    They make a tidy profit on every HomePod they sell. They also use HomePod as a camel's nose Under the Tent in order to solidify their hold on the customer's purchase of future products. All that Apple cares about is maximizing profit. If they could increase profits while servicing only the 1%, they would be eager to do so
    Why aren't you banned yet? 
    I ignored/blocked him weeks ago. Try it, you’ll like it.
    nunzymacxpressequality72521watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 23
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,351member
    tmay said:
    The HomePod is definitely hitting above its weight in audio quality. Likely, this is the new battleground, so can't wait until the competition throws stuff against the wall to compete, but will there be some worthy competitors? Likely from Google and Amazon, both of whom have a software advantage over third parties, and Amazon especially with it's embedded sales advantage. Sonos isn't going to get frozen out, but it just makes price point more difficult.
    There's sound (!) competition who put their product on the market before Apple did, even winning head-to-head sound quality comparisons against the HomePod. That wasn't throwing something against the wall was it?

    Of course no one would be expected to be as financially successful with their smartspeaker as Apple is, but that doesn't mean there aren't great-sounding, perhaps even better-sounding, competitors but with crappy marketing and disjointed promotional efforts. 
    ;)
    edited August 2
  • Reply 8 of 23
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,062member
    macxpress said:
    nunzy said:
     Apple doesn't care about market share.

    They make a tidy profit on every HomePod they sell. They also use HomePod as a camel's nose Under the Tent in order to solidify their hold on the customer's purchase of future products. All that Apple cares about is maximizing profit. If they could increase profits while servicing only the 1%, they would be eager to do so
    Why aren't you banned yet? 
    No kidding. Same fucking post, in every single thread. As if nobody here is aware that Apple likes profit.
    edited August 2 nunzyequality72521watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 23
    slurpy said:
    macxpress said:
    nunzy said:
     Apple doesn't care about market share.

    They make a tidy profit on every HomePod they sell. They also use HomePod as a camel's nose Under the Tent in order to solidify their hold on the customer's purchase of future products. All that Apple cares about is maximizing profit. If they could increase profits while servicing only the 1%, they would be eager to do so
    Why aren't you banned yet? 
    No kidding. Same fucking post, in every single thread. As if nobody here is aware that Apple likes profit.
    Personally I like Apple's profits. Bought a modest amount of the stock last year and I now have enough gain to buy an iMac Pro.
    nunzyequality72521chasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 23
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,787member
    I have one HomePod so far and a handful of Echo Dots. The HomePod is much more refined, especially at the voice assistant level because Alexa tries too hard to be snarky and is less natural sounding. The Echos are more feature rich. The Echo Dots are so damn cheap that just using them as in-house intercoms or smart light switches is worth the price.  For music, podcasts, etc., the HomePod puts the Echo to shame. Having both works for me. 
    chasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 23
    I bought a Sonos One the other day and might get a second one once they add Assistant to it as the sound is nice but I miss stereo. I gotta say that the hassle of combining Sonos, Alexa, and Spotify in a country where Alexa isn't supported, is a flipping headache.

    I'm enjoying slowly adding more smart products to the house but I can definitely see a need for one very good management platform/assistant and none of the current players seem to offer the full package. I like the look of the Apple Home app but doesn't control all devices and Siri is stupid so it's not an option. Google Assistant is great but the Home app gets becomes a pig once you have a few devices. IFTTT, Stringify etc are handy additions but limited by what their partners are willing to open up - unless I learn how to code/use them better.
  • Reply 12 of 23
    "The analysts also failed to mention that the HomePod has yet to see a holiday sales period."

    ... or meaningful distribution outside the US.

    I buy speakers for the SOUND, not the gimmicks.  I'll wager that HomePod buyers are pretty much the same way.  The last set I bought was harman/kardon Sound Sticks (still use them).  HomePods are much better.  Getting voice control is icing on the cake (I haven't had any problems with SIRI on HomePod).
    stanhopewatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 23
    croprcropr Posts: 862member
    nunzy said:
     Apple doesn't care about market share.

    They make a tidy profit on every HomePod they sell. They also use HomePod as a camel's nose Under the Tent in order to solidify their hold on the customer's purchase of future products. All that Apple cares about is maximizing profit. If they could increase profits while servicing only the 1%, they would be eager to do so
    I agree with you that market share is not a fetish for Apple, but it is still important.  Apple sells typically at a high margin (selling price - production cost), but it needs to sell enough units to recover the development costs of the HomePad.   Developing and designing products does not come for free.   If the market share remains low, this might be an issue.    I have serious doubts that Apple is pleased with the way the HomePas is currently selling.

    Of course Apple has deeps pockets and has the time the mature the HomePod, but still it won't pour endless money into a product if the development costs cannot recuperated.


    nunzymuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 23
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,242member
    gatorguy said:
    tmay said:
    The HomePod is definitely hitting above its weight in audio quality. Likely, this is the new battleground, so can't wait until the competition throws stuff against the wall to compete, but will there be some worthy competitors? Likely from Google and Amazon, both of whom have a software advantage over third parties, and Amazon especially with it's embedded sales advantage. Sonos isn't going to get frozen out, but it just makes price point more difficult.
    There's sound (!) competition who put their product on the market before Apple did, even winning head-to-head sound quality comparisons against the HomePod. That wasn't throwing something against the wall was it?

    Of course no one would be expected to be as financially successful with their smartspeaker as Apple is, but that doesn't mean there aren't great-sounding, perhaps even better-sounding, competitors but with crappy marketing and disjointed promotional efforts. 
    ;)
    Don't disagree much, but as this link demonstrates,

    https://www.engadget.com/2018/06/05/apple-homepod-in-stereo-multiroom-demo/

    there is a market for stereo smart speakers, and that's an area that Apple HomePod seems to have well defined.

    Hence, a niche that I expect other manufacturers to design for. I don't consider the Home Max at the same technical or feature level as the HomePod. It does have woofers and power in its favor, and I of course know that you disagree, but it's likely that Apple's HomePod provides better audio quality as a pair than the Home Max does. 

    Smart speakers configured for and sold in pairs for stereo is that market that I'm speaking of, and Apple too is rumored to have new models on the horizon as well.
    edited August 2 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 23
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,432member
    macxpress said:
    nunzy said:
     Apple doesn't care about market share.

    They make a tidy profit on every HomePod they sell. They also use HomePod as a camel's nose Under the Tent in order to solidify their hold on the customer's purchase of future products. All that Apple cares about is maximizing profit. If they could increase profits while servicing only the 1%, they would be eager to do so
    Why aren't you banned yet? 
    Because people keep replying to him, which means clicks, which means profit!
    nunzywatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 23
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,199member
    Rayz2016 said:
    macxpress said:
    nunzy said:
     Apple doesn't care about market share.

    They make a tidy profit on every HomePod they sell. They also use HomePod as a camel's nose Under the Tent in order to solidify their hold on the customer's purchase of future products. All that Apple cares about is maximizing profit. If they could increase profits while servicing only the 1%, they would be eager to do so
    Why aren't you banned yet? 
    Because people keep replying to him, which means clicks, which means profit!
    Well played, Sir. Well played.
    nunzywatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 23
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 540member
    "The analysts also failed to mention that the HomePod has yet to see a holiday sales period."

    ... or meaningful distribution outside the US.

    I buy speakers for the SOUND, not the gimmicks.  I'll wager that HomePod buyers are pretty much the same way.  The last set I bought was harman/kardon Sound Sticks (still use them).  HomePods are much better.  Getting voice control is icing on the cake (I haven't had any problems with SIRI on HomePod).
    I buy speakers for the SOUND, not the gimmicks.  I agree 100 %...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 23
    stanhopestanhope Posts: 130member
    A trillion dollar market cap and siri is still as stupid dry dog turd on a hot sidewalk in texas.  Tim c’mon dude.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 999member
    nunzy said:

    All that Apple cares about is maximizing profit. If they could increase profits while servicing only the 1%, they would be eager to do so
    Not true or they be charging $1,000 for a smaller market share. All that Apple cares about is selling products & services which are actually profitable would be more accurate.
    nunzywatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 23
    If 2 HomePods are paired to output stereophonic sound, would they output it exactly like how it would be on a Hi-Fi system, as the record producer intended, or does it do its own audio magic?
    watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.