Despite the high cost of entry, Apple has managed to amass a ‘small but meaningful’ share of the smart speaker market. That’s according to new research from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, which estimates that the Apple HomePod has nabbed 6% of the US smart speaker market.
While 6% is a paltry performance in comparison to the Amazon Echo’s 70% and Google Home’s 24%, it’s not bad going for a speaker that is significantly more expensive than those offered by the other two companies. US consumers wishing to purchase an Apple HomePod have to stump up $349 for the privilege, while the Amazon Echo and Google Home are just $99.99 and $129.99, respectively. That’s excluding the more affordable Echo Dot and Home Mini. Amazon and Google also enjoyed a head-start, with the Apple HomePod having only been released on February 9.
“Apple introduced HomePod in the first quarter, and now has a small but meaningful share,” says Josh Lowitz, partner and co-founder of CIRP.
“It took a small share of the market from both Amazon and Google. Still, Amazon has a two-year head start, and Amazon and Google each have a low-priced device that accounts for at least half of unit sales, so it’s not clear how much further Apple can establish itself in the market without a more competitive model.”
It’s important to note that despite the survey suggesting a 70% marketshare for Amazon’s Echo speakers, it didn’t take into account devices from manufacturers that weren’t Google or Apple. That means the likes of the Sonos One were excluded from the survey’s results, and could skew the results in Amazon’s favour. Although the Sonos One does boast the Alexa assistant anyway, meaning it could only be more good news for the retail giant.
Amazon Echo Is Everywhere
It’s no surprise that Amazon has a large share of the market, as the company’s speakers can be found in a variety of rooms around the home. Some of those surveyed reported having more than four Echo speakers in their home, while over 34% admitted to having at least two. That’s slightly higher than the number of Google Home owners who own more than one speaker (31%).
“Both Amazon and Google encouraged users to buy multiple units, through pricing and promotions,” adds Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP.
“Each brand wants to establish a position in a household, with units in every room. This seems to work, as about one-third of owners have multiple units, and almost 10% of Echo users have three or more. The strategy of a very low-priced smart speaker encourages users to try one, and then add more as they get comfortable with the concept. While HomePod does have a modest share of the installed market, it’s not large enough to allow us to analyze number of units per owner in our sample.”