HomePod sales up in fourth quarter, Amazon and Google extending lead

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 44
    tht said:
    tht said:
    Frankly, I’m amazed that >30m units of this voice assistant speakers can even be sold. I wonder what the retention is, ie, how people use them actively versus them being put in storage or lying dormant, unused. 
    I can't speak for anyone else but I find I use mine more and more the longer I have it. As I add new home automation devices to my network, I use my Home Minis to operate them. I probably use them for music, searches, weather, lists etc as much as when I first got them.
    How many do you have?

    The USA has about 80 million households. Even if the numbers sold in the USA was 10% of the 30m Q4 number, it would still translate to around 5 to 10m per year in the USA. It doesn’t take long for saturation to hit. I question how many households would really have them and what usage they may have.

    Heck, even home automation devices (smart locks, smart switches, smart control boxes), I have to wonder what the actual penetration in homes is. This stuff isn’t cheap. The penetration of CFL and LED lights isn’t all that great either, and that’s the easiest replacement process possible.
    I have a smart speaker in every room in my house except one.  I have two in my Living Room.  I love them, they're cheap and they're fun to use. 

    Just the other night we're planning a driving trip to Florida.  We were discussing different stops we could make and we asked Google the drive time from place to place.  Yes, I could've used my phone, but then I'm looking at that and not my family.  Speakers are more inclusive. 

    Ridiculous use case.I plan trips all the time and there’s no way I’d do it based on some sound bites from a smart speaker. I want to see where I’m going, the route and possible stops along the way. Plus I want to read reviews and get more in-depth information on potential places to visit. This requires me at my computer with a dozen browser tabs open filled with details while I plan my trip.

    Theres a reason why Google and Amazon came out with “speakers” with displays in them. Because a single screen of visual content can communicate far more than a quick response from a speaker.
    lolliverboltsfan17StrangeDays
  • Reply 22 of 44
    tht said:
    tht said:
    Frankly, I’m amazed that >30m units of this voice assistant speakers can even be sold. I wonder what the retention is, ie, how people use them actively versus them being put in storage or lying dormant, unused. 
    I can't speak for anyone else but I find I use mine more and more the longer I have it. As I add new home automation devices to my network, I use my Home Minis to operate them. I probably use them for music, searches, weather, lists etc as much as when I first got them.
    How many do you have?

    The USA has about 80 million households. Even if the numbers sold in the USA was 10% of the 30m Q4 number, it would still translate to around 5 to 10m per year in the USA. It doesn’t take long for saturation to hit. I question how many households would really have them and what usage they may have.

    Heck, even home automation devices (smart locks, smart switches, smart control boxes), I have to wonder what the actual penetration in homes is. This stuff isn’t cheap. The penetration of CFL and LED lights isn’t all that great either, and that’s the easiest replacement process possible.
    I have a Home Mini in the kitchen/living room - which uses Chromecast to cast to the hifi, another Mini in my home office, and a Sonos One. Once or if the One ever gets Assistant, I would have a spare Mini and I probably don't really want it in a bedroom so I'm not sure where it'll end up. So yeah, I'm already at saturation point. But Google/Amazon aren't worried about saturation, that's their goal. Meanwhile, they can work on getting people to use them more.

    I've started to notice that a number of friends, some who aren't even that technologically minded, have been getting smart thermostats when they move into new houses/apartments. Same with connected burglar alarms. But lights, locks, I haven't seen many among people I know. Smart switches though - the christmas tree lights timer will be the thin edge of the wedge for a lot of people I am guessing.
  • Reply 23 of 44
    bigtdsbigtds Posts: 150member

    I have a smart speaker in every room in my house except one.  I have two in my Living Room.  I love them, they're cheap and they're fun to use. 

    Just the other night we're planning a driving trip to Florida.  We were discussing different stops we could make and we asked Google the drive time from place to place.  Yes, I could've used my phone, but then I'm looking at that and not my family.  Speakers are more inclusive. 

    Ridiculous use case.I plan trips all the time and there’s no way I’d do it based on some sound bites from a smart speaker. I want to see where I’m going, the route and possible stops along the way. Plus I want to read reviews and get more in-depth information on potential places to visit. This requires me at my computer with a dozen browser tabs open filled with details while I plan my trip.

    Theres a reason why Google and Amazon came out with “speakers” with displays in them. Because a single screen of visual content can communicate far more than a quick response from a speaker.
    When you ask Google home for directions, it sends it to your phone ready to navigate.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 24 of 44
    bigtds said:

    I have a smart speaker in every room in my house except one.  I have two in my Living Room.  I love them, they're cheap and they're fun to use. 

    Just the other night we're planning a driving trip to Florida.  We were discussing different stops we could make and we asked Google the drive time from place to place.  Yes, I could've used my phone, but then I'm looking at that and not my family.  Speakers are more inclusive. 

    Ridiculous use case.I plan trips all the time and there’s no way I’d do it based on some sound bites from a smart speaker. I want to see where I’m going, the route and possible stops along the way. Plus I want to read reviews and get more in-depth information on potential places to visit. This requires me at my computer with a dozen browser tabs open filled with details while I plan my trip.

    Theres a reason why Google and Amazon came out with “speakers” with displays in them. Because a single screen of visual content can communicate far more than a quick response from a speaker.
    When you ask Google home for directions, it sends it to your phone ready to navigate.

    Why wouldn't I just use my phone in the first place and bypass the requirement of having a speaker send information to my phone?
    lollivermacxpress
  • Reply 25 of 44
    bigtdsbigtds Posts: 150member


    Why wouldn't I just use my phone in the first place and bypass the requirement of having a speaker send information to my phone?
    You can. I just don't always have my phone with me when requesting direction. Phone in kitchen charging...me on couch.
  • Reply 26 of 44
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,197member
    I have a bunch of Echos but only a single HomePod. The HomePod is an audio-first device and it excels at what it does - playing music with high fidelity. The Echos are mostly used for voice-queries and intercoms between floors. When Apple and Amazon agreed to allow Echo to stream Apple Music I paired the BT speakers I already owned to Echo Dots, including the Bose Soundlink that lost its job in the kitchen to the HomePod. I have no complaints about any of these devices, at least the ones from Amazon and Apple. I haven't tried Google's devices but I'd probably like them too but I'd miss the Apple Music integration. Even the bare Echo Dot is perfectly fine for listening to talk radio and serving as an alarm to wake me in the morning. I love the ability to whisper to the Echo to cancel the alarm when I wake up before it goes off and I don't want to disturb my sleeping spouse. From my perspective there are no losers here and I'm perfectly happy to buy whatever brand mix fits my needs. But I will say that the Apple Music hookup between Apple and Amazon was a major game changer. Not having Apple Music available on Amazon Echo was disappointing, but not enough to drive me to buy more HomePods. Having Apple Music on my Amazon devices makes those devices more valuable to me, but the biggest winner in the deal is Apple Music. Having more players for Apple Music makes me feel a whole lot better about maintaining my Apple Music subscription because it's now amortized across 10 players rather than one player. It's not like I'll be buying 3-5 new Echo devices per year, which is about what Apple Music costs, so Apple is still profiting significantly from their deal with Amazon. 
    gatorguybadmonk
  • Reply 27 of 44
    k2kw said:

    Not bad considering the competition gives them away for free or 20 bucks.


    The sad part is that Apple is being compared to them when Apple never intended to compete with them.


    What Apple could do is release a gen 2, drop the price of gen 1 $100 and then surprise us with a portable version. There's already crappy portable speakers copying the HomePod design.

    If gen 2 has an auxiliary audio port and USB connection then it could be much more compelling as a speaker.
    This is exactly why I'm glad you don't run Apple. You realize the backlash Apple would get for doing such things? So it's okay to have it on a speaker, but not a phone or an iPad? 

    Apple is about pushing technology forward, even if it means losing sales at first, however they are most certainly winning the revenue/profit war. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 28 of 44
    bigtds said:


    Why wouldn't I just use my phone in the first place and bypass the requirement of having a speaker send information to my phone?
    You can. I just don't always have my phone with me when requesting direction. Phone in kitchen charging...me on couch.
    Okay but your use case still doesn't make any sense at all though...
  • Reply 29 of 44
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,330member
    genovelle said:
    asdasd said:
    sacto joe said:
    You’d think people would learn by now. It’s not about market share. It’s about quality, privacy, and installed base. Apple plays for the long term. 
    The profits matter to some, the installed base to others. 
    The business graveyard is filled with companies  and products that have chased market share over profits, hoping the the former with lead to the latter. Unfortunately it rarely works out that way. The only way it works is if it is not your primary business. This is problematic in that big companies come in and destroy the profitability of an industry by selling below cost to gain market share t sell their real product. This drives the real companies including the market founders out of business and once they are gone investment into impoving the space dries up because the replacement was never really passionate about it in the first place. They just wanted access. 
    Thanks got the business lecture but I was responding to an investor who said profits were the main thing. For me as a consumer the installed base matters as it affects the platform. On the Mac in particular larger markets here would see better software. 
  • Reply 30 of 44
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,823member
    Let see 38.5 million units sold.

    Amazon 13.7% (5,274,500 units) x $20 
    $105,490,000 Revenue
    Reasonable to assume less than 5% profit margins 
    $5,274,500 profit

    Apple 1.6% (616,000 units) x $349
    $214,984,000 Revenue 
    Reasonable to assume historic profit margins of 30%
    $64,495,200 profit

    Think I’ll hold my Apple positions.


    With all the Christmas sales of the HP there is no way Apple was making their customary 30%.   I would be surprised if its more than 5%.   Didn't John Gruber say they are giving them away for free.   They make their profit on the hooked Apple Music subscriptions. 
    larrya
  • Reply 31 of 44
    The Siri workflow... 1. Listen all the time for “Hey Siri” (and for people talking about accidentally calling 911 during marital passion time*) 2. Listen and let people know that Siri is listening with swirly display. 3. Take the voice, transmit it somewhere, decipher it, record it for some period of time, and tell people it’s kept for 30 days. 4. Process it, and then offer a best guess as to what the human said, without any kind of logic checking, like that I’ve never actually used Siri to call my brother’s ex-wife, but still wants to call her. (Hmmm.... Amy any Anna sound similar, but he never calls Anna, but seems to call Amy all the time, and always calls her after I prompt for him to call Anna. I just wonder if the next time I get a request to call Anna, I should just relearn his voice and what I think is Anna is actually Amy...”) 5 Execute what I think is what the user asked, no matter what (unless they wisely checked the box with confirming what Siri says.) For steps 3-4, why does it have to be transmitted? Microsoft Voice Command did a pretty good job on my 256MB Windows phone back in 2005, and it only went to the web when it needed to. No Internet on the phone, but still got the cell signal? No problem. The call went through, and my schedule could be read to me. *it is odd that after this happened (and the 911 guy laughed when he realized what was going on, and we were laughing too, that my searches for ‘accidental 911 calls with Apple Watch’ turned up vastly different results than a friend’s search for that, writhin 30 minutes of the event.
  • Reply 32 of 44
    bigtds said:

    I have a smart speaker in every room in my house except one.  I have two in my Living Room.  I love them, they're cheap and they're fun to use. 

    Just the other night we're planning a driving trip to Florida.  We were discussing different stops we could make and we asked Google the drive time from place to place.  Yes, I could've used my phone, but then I'm looking at that and not my family.  Speakers are more inclusive. 

    Ridiculous use case.I plan trips all the time and there’s no way I’d do it based on some sound bites from a smart speaker. I want to see where I’m going, the route and possible stops along the way. Plus I want to read reviews and get more in-depth information on potential places to visit. This requires me at my computer with a dozen browser tabs open filled with details while I plan my trip.

    Theres a reason why Google and Amazon came out with “speakers” with displays in them. Because a single screen of visual content can communicate far more than a quick response from a speaker.
    When you ask Google home for directions, it sends it to your phone ready to navigate.

    Not to mention, sending it to your very personal selfish ledger on the Google servers.
    edited February 20 bakedbananas
  • Reply 33 of 44
    HomePod is a really nice speaker but it’s high sticker price will always delegate it to much lower sales volume vs google and Alexa products.  
  • Reply 34 of 44
    FatmanFatman Posts: 317member
    tht said:
    tht said:
    Frankly, I’m amazed that >30m units of this voice assistant speakers can even be sold. I wonder what the retention is, ie, how people use them actively versus them being put in storage or lying dormant, unused. 
    I can't speak for anyone else but I find I use mine more and more the longer I have it. As I add new home automation devices to my network, I use my Home Minis to operate them. I probably use them for music, searches, weather, lists etc as much as when I first got them.
    How many do you have?

    The USA has about 80 million households. Even if the numbers sold in the USA was 10% of the 30m Q4 number, it would still translate to around 5 to 10m per year in the USA. It doesn’t take long for saturation to hit. I question how many households would really have them and what usage they may have.

    Heck, even home automation devices (smart locks, smart switches, smart control boxes), I have to wonder what the actual penetration in homes is. This stuff isn’t cheap. The penetration of CFL and LED lights isn’t all that great either, and that’s the easiest replacement process possible.
    I have a smart speaker in every room in my house except one.  I have two in my Living Room.  I love them, they're cheap and they're fun to use. 

    Just the other night we're planning a driving trip to Florida.  We were discussing different stops we could make and we asked Google the drive time from place to place.  Yes, I could've used my phone, but then I'm looking at that and not my family.  Speakers are more inclusive. 
    As long as you are fine with every home conversation being recorded, stored, dissected and used to separate your money from your wallet. Amazon and Google subsidize these devices to get them into as many homes as possible. Combine this data with social media apps and you might as well live in China. Apple’s HomePod is an excellent sounding speaker, Siri is just thrown in as a bonus. If you don’t care about quality audio (or can’t hear the difference - some can’t) then buy a bunch of the tinny sounding plastic junk that Amazon and Google push.
  • Reply 35 of 44
    Hmm yeah except the HP isn't in the smart-speaker category. It was designed and is marketed as an extremely high-quality shelf speaker, which happens to use voice (tho I much more often use an iOS device's UI as a remote). I have two hooked up to my ATV, and the sound they output, whether music or movies, is incredible. I retired my 7.1 DTS/HD receiver and Anthony Gallo orb speakers and sub-woofer. The HPs are way, way easier and take up so much less space, and require far less tinkering, wire checks, etc... Not looking back.
    edited February 20
  • Reply 36 of 44
    k2kw said:

    Not bad considering the competition gives them away for free or 20 bucks.


    The sad part is that Apple is being compared to them when Apple never intended to compete with them.


    What Apple could do is release a gen 2, drop the price of gen 1 $100 and then surprise us with a portable version. There's already crappy portable speakers copying the HomePod design.

    If gen 2 has an auxiliary audio port and USB connection then it could be much more compelling as a speaker.
    Right after they put that removable memory card on the iPhone, right?
  • Reply 37 of 44

    asdasd said:
    sacto joe said:
    You’d think people would learn by now. It’s not about market share. It’s about quality, privacy, and installed base. Apple plays for the long term. 
    The profits matter to some, the installed base to others. 
    Profit is the air corporations breathe. Profit is the measure of success and health. Worshipping at the Church of Market Share is only for fanboys when that's all that they have to fall back on. 
  • Reply 38 of 44

    k2kw said:

    Not bad considering the competition gives them away for free or 20 bucks.


    The sad part is that Apple is being compared to them when Apple never intended to compete with them.


    What Apple could do is release a gen 2, drop the price of gen 1 $100 and then surprise us with a portable version. There's already crappy portable speakers copying the HomePod design.

    If gen 2 has an auxiliary audio port and USB connection then it could be much more compelling as a speaker.


    Aux is looking back, Apple needs to look forward. Another poster mentions them being expensive to litter around the house and that's a good point. Which is why a HomePod mini would make sense.


    Apple needs to go all in with Home.

    Agreed. They should include a pair of TRS and XLR interfaces to go out to a Subwoofer and Studio Monitors, just for kicks.
    With regards to subwoofers, I'm pretty amazed by the lows put out by my HPs. The sound is huge...it's like, where is this coming from!? I worry about the neighbors when it's late.
    bakedbananas
  • Reply 39 of 44

    k2kw said:

    Not bad considering the competition gives them away for free or 20 bucks.


    The sad part is that Apple is being compared to them when Apple never intended to compete with them.


    What Apple could do is release a gen 2, drop the price of gen 1 $100 and then surprise us with a portable version. There's already crappy portable speakers copying the HomePod design.

    If gen 2 has an auxiliary audio port and USB connection then it could be much more compelling as a speaker.


    Aux is looking back, Apple needs to look forward. Another poster mentions them being expensive to litter around the house and that's a good point. Which is why a HomePod mini would make sense.


    Apple needs to go all in with Home.


    My home makes extensive use of automation (HomeKit obviously, not a single Google or Amazon device anywhere).

    I don't need HomePods in every room. Why? Because I have an Apple Watch and can use Siri to operate my devices. For people who don't have an AW you can also use your iPhone. However, since getting my AW I no longer carry my iPhone around the house like I used to. I have a large house and don't feel like installing over a dozen cheap "smart" speakers just so I can use HomeKit anywhere I want to. A single AW does that for me.
    Yeah there's usually an iPad, iPhone, or Watch in earshot. But more -- the HP picks me up from 1-2 rooms away. Great for HK commands. 
  • Reply 40 of 44

    genovelle said:
    Let see 38.5 million units sold.

    Amazon 13.7% (5,274,500 units) x $20 
    $105,490,000 Revenue
    Reasonable to assume less than 5% profit margins 
    $5,274,500 profit

    Apple 1.6% (616,000 units) x $349
    $214,984,000 Revenue 
    Reasonable to assume historic profit margins of 30%
    $64,495,200 profit

    Think I’ll hold my Apple positions.


    Those aren’t the percentages, they are units shipped in millions. 
    13.7 million x $20 x  5% =    13,700,000 profit
    1.6 Million x $349 x 30% = 167,000,000 profit

    So, it’s actually worse. 
    You're both missing the point.  The point isn't to make $ on the sale of the speaker, the point is to tie people into your ecosystem and sell them other stuff.  I believe that the average echo owner spends $700 more per year than does the average Prime customer.  It gets people to do things like get Audible books because they play on the Echo speaker.  They get you to buy Amazon Music.  Those speakers sales are a one time purchase.  People aren't going to be buying new speakers every year.  The upgrade is in the software, not the hardware.  Amazon is running away with home automation.  Apple has largely lost the battle for the home space
    Laugh. You're viewing things thru a prism. I have dozens of HK home accessories and don't own a single Amazon home automation product, nor would I ever. Every serious brand offers HK integration. Amazon isn't running away with anything nor is Apple losing anything. 

    I don't miss the ability to order more toilet paper via voice. lol
    bakedbananas
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