HomePod gains smart speaker marketshare in Q4, still lags far behind front runners

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2020
Apple posted strong HomePod sales for the fourth quarter of 2019, according to new statistics shared Thursday, but its sales growth rate trails that of other top players and the device's overall marketshare sits well behind frontrunners Amazon and Google.

HomePod


According to the latest estimates from Strategy Analytics, Apple shipped 2.6 million HomePods in the last quarter of 2019 to capture a 4.7% slice of the global smart speaker market. The figure is up 65% from 1.6 million units shipped and a 4.1% marketshare in the year ago quarter.

Despite year-over-year growth, Apple remained in sixth place behind the likes of Amazon, Google and a cadre of Chinese companies.

Market leader Amazon shipped 15.8 million Echo devices to take a 28.3% share of the market, up from 13.7 million units in 2018. Google, which sells a range of speakers loaded with Google Home technology, shipped 13.9 million units for a 24.9% marketshare over the same period, up 20% year on year.

Both Amazon and Google saw their dominant position at the top of the segment erode as challengers Baidu, Alibaba and Xiaomi each enjoyed more fruitful per-quarter increases.

Baidu, for example, moved from 2.2 million units shipped in quarter four 2018 to 5.9 million units in 2019. The world's fifth-largest vendor, Xiaomi, saw similar growth from 1.8 million units to 4.7 million units over the same period. Alibaba, which sits between Baidu and Xiaomi in terms of marketshare, shipped 5.5 million units, up from 2.8 million units last year.

Apple notched the lowest uptick in sales on the year at 1 million devices, followed by Amazon's 2.1 million and Google's 2.4 million units. Baidu exhibited the largest change year-over-year with a 3.7 million unit bump and was trailed by Xiaomi's 2.9 million unit increase. Alibaba was close behind with a difference of 2.7 million units from 2018.

"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," said David Watkins, director at Strategy Analytics. "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."

Overall, the smart speaker segment touched a record high of 55.7 million sales during the fourth quarter of 2019, driven in part by strong holiday demand in the U.S. and Europe, the report said.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    I’d be interested in seeing a comparison of the “...giveaway promotional activity...” to sales for each mfg.
    razorpitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 38
    lukeilukei Posts: 358member
    I have 6 homepods and 2 Echo devices. Former are great speakers but Siri is so far behind Alexa it is at times incomprehensible that a company like Apple allow this state of affairs. 

    Apple need to up their game otherwise they remain as now just speakers that I use for basic HomeKit tasks.
    anantksundaramrevenantdigitolwattoukMetriacanthosauruschemengin1caladanianbloodshotrollin'red
  • Reply 3 of 38
    I have 3 HomePods which are enough for my house in general. However I could see buying more if they would just release a smaller version, like for my kids’ bedrooms. 
    razorpit
  • Reply 4 of 38
    lukei said:
    I have 6 homepods and 2 Echo devices. Former are great speakers but Siri is so far behind Alexa it is at times incomprehensible that a company like Apple allow this state of affairs. 

    Apple need to up their game otherwise they remain as now just speakers that I use for basic HomeKit tasks.
    I have a pair of HomePods in my master bedroom; a pair of Alexa-enabled Sonos Ones in my living room which controls my Logitech Harmony that controls my home theater. I'm always hearing and reading how "far behind" Siri is to Alexa and I wonder exactly how far?

    In my usage Siri has performed on par with Alexa. In fact the most frustrating thing about Alexa is the numerous times it gets activated by dialog coming from the TV. When I'm watching "Schitt's Creek" it constantly gets activated when it hears the name, "Alexis" for example.

    I have many HomeKit devices that also have Alexa skills so I'm able to ask Siri or Alexa to do the same things. My experience is I have to repeat my commands more often with Alexa. Also, there was an instance back in November right before Thanksgiving, where my Logitech Harmony skills just stopped working for a few days. I checked on Twitter and discovered I wasn't alone. This was after I had already wasted about an hour of my time troubleshooting. When I got back from the holiday, it was working again.

    All said and done, in my experiences, I can't say that Alexa is far superior to Siri. Maybe because I use them both generically. That's not to say I don't believe you when you say Siri is far behind. I would just like some examples that I can try out myself.
    edited February 2020 StrangeDaysleavingthebiggpscooter63caladaniancrossladjony0
  • Reply 5 of 38
    HomePod is a total failure and disaster! The speaker itself sounds great... however Siri has been lobotomized. Amazon Alexa is far superior. For an apple product it's completely unacceptable. It's clear  Apple is only focusing on Wallstreet, and that means shafting all of you. iPad/iphone is what apple has the lead in, and THAT is where all their attention, money, and resources go. Quite sad. The only thing apple has going for it is that they suck less than the rest. Truth. 
    Metriacanthosaurusmike54anantksundaramchemengin1
  • Reply 6 of 38
    I’ve had Siri disabled on my devices since it was released.  

    But, what use case is Siri inferior to Alexa on a smart speaker?  It’s no like you’re having it do dictation.
  • Reply 7 of 38
    It’s absurd to compare the sales volume of a high end speaker like the (highly profitable) HomePod to bottom dwellers like the echo. Let’s see the sales comparisons of the high end smart speakers.  We have two HomePods and use them to control lights and music with Siri. It’s amazing how Siri can pick up a command from rooms away, My wife was a skeptic but is totally won over.  The chattering media masses who complain about Siri have no idea- Siri understands what she needs to very effectively now.
    StrangeDaysbakedbananasjony0
  • Reply 8 of 38
    digitol said:
    HomePod is a total failure and disaster! The speaker itself sounds great... however Siri has been lobotomized. Amazon Alexa is far superior. For an apple product it's completely unacceptable. It's clear  Apple is only focusing on Wallstreet, and that means shafting all of you. iPad/iphone is what apple has the lead in, and THAT is where all their attention, money, and resources go. Quite sad. The only thing apple has going for it is that they suck less than the rest. Truth. 
    Holy hyperbole, batman. It’s not a failure if it’s generating revenue. It’s not a disaster if people are happy with them. We have two and think they’re great. I use Siri on it for home automation, music sometimes, and basic requests. 

    And the notion that Apple is a company that caters to Wall Street is also absurd. You clearly don’t follow Apple very much. 
    mike1pscooter63bakedbananasjony0
  • Reply 9 of 38
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Has anyone got multiuser support going in a HomePod? Does it only work for certain locales?

    Funny that the competition realised that a smart speaker would need multiuser support from day one. 

    Still, can’t fault the sound quality though. 
    muthuk_vanalingamcaladanianbakedbananas
  • Reply 10 of 38
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,321member
    mistergsf said:

    All said and done, in my experiences, I can't say that Alexa is far superior to Siri. Maybe because I use them both generically. That's not to say I don't believe you when you say Siri is far behind. I would just like some examples that I can try out myself.
    I find Siri is actually superior to Alexa when giving basic commands to control connected gadgets. For example when I ask Alexa to “turn on the lounge plug” she will sometimes do it or else she will reply “lounge doesn’t support that”. With Siri the same command goes through 100% of the time.

    Where I find Siri falls down is outside of these specific commands for home automation.

    Let me give a couple of examples:

    Ask Alexa what Gas Mark 3 is in Celsius and you’ll get the correct answer. Ask the same of HomePod and you get the generic Sorry, HomePod does not know this type of answer. It’s amazing how many seemingly simple questions Siri just does not know!

    Another prime example, and one where the HomePod should absolute destroy Alexa is with Apple Music. If I say to Siri “Play shotgun” it plays the version from the 60’s by Junior Walker, which is not the song I want and is in fact a song I have never played. I ask Siri to play a different version of shotgun, it just plays the same damn song. In the end I have to specify, Siri, play Shotgun by George Ezra.

    Now my children love Shotgun by George Ezra, I’d not be surprised if they have listened to it a 100 times or more and yet for some reason, on the HomePod, it insists on playing a song that we have never listened to instead of using logic to work out the one we want.

    If we ask Alexa to play Shotgun it gets the George Ezra version every time and on the odd occasion where we ask it to play a song where the name has been used a few times over the years the command of play a different version actually plays a different bloody version!

    I could give so many more examples, but I think you get the point. It’s crazy how Apple Music is better via Alexa than via Siri, that’s just embarrassing for Apple!
    caladanianbloodshotrollin'red
  • Reply 11 of 38
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    digitol said:
     The only thing apple has going for it is that they suck less than the rest. Truth. 
    If Apple sucks less than all the rest according to your own words, then that means that they are numero uno, the best. Better than all the rest.
    edited February 2020 RonnnieOuraharapscooter63
  • Reply 12 of 38
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,115member
    I would take these statistics, and any linear changes in market share, with a large grain of salt. It isn’t as though any of these companies report sales figures.
    razorpit
  • Reply 13 of 38
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,531member
    Will HomePod (hardware) ever be updated?
  • Reply 14 of 38
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,382member
    In other news... Ford Focus outsells Jaguar E-Pace.
    mike1StrangeDaysbakedbananas
  • Reply 15 of 38
    SHKSHK Posts: 12member
    Whatever. I have several Homepods (all used in stereo pairs) because the sound quality via Airplay is HANDS DOWN superior to any other wireless speaker I've heard.
    I don't care at all about Siri. In fact it's turned OFF.

    Considering I've been able to acquire a Homepod PAIR for around $400, I could not be happier. 
    bakedbananas
  • Reply 16 of 38
    Who exactly is making all the profit in the smart speaker market?
  • Reply 17 of 38
    digitol said:
    HomePod is a total failure and disaster! The speaker itself sounds great... however Siri has been lobotomized. Amazon Alexa is far superior. For an apple product it's completely unacceptable. It's clear  Apple is only focusing on Wallstreet, and that means shafting all of you. iPad/iphone is what apple has the lead in, and THAT is where all their attention, money, and resources go. Quite sad. The only thing apple has going for it is that they suck less than the rest. Truth. 
    Holy hyperbole, batman. It’s not a failure if it’s generating revenue. It’s not a disaster if people are happy with them. We have two and think they’re great. I use Siri on it for home automation, music sometimes, and basic requests. 

    And the notion that Apple is a company that caters to Wall Street is also absurd. You clearly don’t follow Apple very much. 
    The HomePod is less useful than a Sonos One which can be had for around $169 on sale. The sound quality is the same. The HomePod is a complete waste and a non-starter, even if an all-Apple household. The only people who have HomePod, or multiple HomePod, are people who simply don't know what else exists beyond Apple.
    chemengin1
  • Reply 18 of 38
    mike54mike54 Posts: 469member
    I agree with another poster above that the HomePod is a failure. Maybe in their home market, the US, it has sold more, but elsewhere it is failed product, that's the truth. Its  sound is good  but so does my speakers for 5 times less. However due to its very high price maybe it still brings a profit.
  • Reply 19 of 38
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,754member
    Don't understand how people have issues with Siri on HomePod? What are you asking it to do from a HomePod?
    It can...
    Easily play my music
    Tell me the weather
    Read my messages or e-mails
    Tell me how long it will take me to get to work
    Return general question info pretty reliably.
    Control all my HomeKit lights and accessories

    I own two (used in separate rooms) and am hoping Apple introduces a smaller version that I would put in some other rooms.
  • Reply 20 of 38
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,382member
    mike54 said:
    I agree with another poster above that the HomePod is a failure. Maybe in their home market, the US, it has sold more, but elsewhere it is failed product, that's the truth. Its  sound is good  but so does my speakers for 5 times less. However due to its very high price maybe it still brings a profit.
    The Home Pods (as a pair) are far less expensive than any other high quality system with direct and ambient audio beamforming that I know of.  Not sure how your cheaper speakers sound better let alone 5 x less?  What amp are you using, what are they do they have direct and ambient audio beamforming?   Check your speaker's tech spec and look for:

    • High-excursion woofer with custom amplifier
    • Array of seven horn-loaded tweeters, each with its own custom amplifier
    • Six-microphone array for voice recognition whilst playing
    • Internal low-frequency calibration microphone for automatic bass correction
    • Direct and ambient audio beamforming
    • Transparent studio-level dynamic processing
    edited February 2020 StrangeDayspscooter63
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