Don’t give up on Apple and the HomePod just yet. It looks like the Siri-powered smart speaker still stands a chance at achieving long-term success.
The HomePod struggled out of the gate, but Apple’s smart speaker might be picking up momentum against its competitors. Apple, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), picked up 6% of the 50 million units sold by all companies so far.
While that may not seem like a victory, the HomePod accounted less than 3% of smart speaker sales in March.
Amazon and Google, meanwhile, are still dominating. The majority of the market share belongs to the Echo, and Google’s collection of Home-branded smart speakers follow in second place. None of this should be surprising, especially when you think about timing. In 2016, Google took on Amazon despite a two-year gap. Apple entered the race this year.
Here’s the June 2018 data from CIRP, which admittedly be somewhat generous:
Amazon Echo (70%), Google Home (24%), Apple HomePod (6%)
The split in market share tells most of what we already knew. Amazon’s Echo jumped ahead of everyone else by arriving first, but the digital assistant inside should be another huge advantage. Alexa continues to broaden its appeal with seamless support across all platforms and ecosystems.
Google’s portfolio, on the other hand, benefits from a massive knowledge graph as well as the global nature of Android and its users. The HomePod was delayed several times, and then Siri was exposed for being underpowered on Apple’s smart speaker.
Yet the numbers are going in a favorable direction for the HomePod. Apple can’t expect it to beat Amazon and Google immediately, so this little bump in a few months should provide some confidence. In the fall, Apple should have a bunch of new features for the HomePod to give it a push when smart speakers will be popular among holiday shoppers.