Apple Sold an Estimated 600,000 HomePod Speakers During the First Quarter of 2018

Apple sold an estimated 600,000 HomePod speakers during the first quarter of 2018, according to new estimates shared this morning by Strategy Analytics. Apple's sales allowed it to capture just 6 percent of the global smart speaker market, coming in well behind Amazon and Google.

Amazon shipped an estimated 4 million Echo smart speakers during the quarter, for a 43.6 percent share of the market, while Google shipped an estimated 2.4 million Google Home speakers for 26.5 percent market share. Alibaba also came in ahead of Apple with 700,000 shipments, while Xiaomi trailed behind with 200,000.

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Apple has a long way to go to catch up to Google and Amazon, both of whom have seen an enormous growth in shipments over the course of the past year. Amazon's shipments increased by two million compared to Q1 2017, while Google's increased by 2.1 million.

Amazon's market share has fallen year over year due to strong sales of Google speakers and new entrants to the market like Apple, Alibaba, and Xiaomi, but Amazon continues to be the number one smart speaker vendor in the world by far.

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David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics commented that "Amazon and Google accounted for a dominant 70% share of global smart speaker shipments in Q1 2018 although their combined share has fallen from 84% in Q4 2017 and 94% in the year ago quarter. This is partly as a result of strong growth in the Chinese market for smart speakers where both Amazon and Google are currently absent. Alibaba and Xiaomi are leading the way in China and their strength in the domestic market alone is proving enough to propel them into the global top five."

In total, across all vendors, there were an estimated 9.2 million smart speaker units shipped during the first quarter of 2018. Apple is, at the current time, the fourth largest smart speaker brand worldwide with the HomePod, but its meager sales are not yet impacting major players Google and Amazon.

Both Google and Amazon have been in the smart speaker business for a longer period of time and the two companies also offer speakers at a range of price points. A Google Home speaker, for example, can be purchased for as little as $129 (or $49 for the mini version), while an Amazon Echo costs just $99.99. The Echo Dot is even more affordable at $49.

Apple's sole speaker, the HomePod, is priced at $349. Apple focused heavily on audio quality with the hopes that consumers would be willing to pay more for a device that had superior sound, but the higher price tag, a delayed feature set, and the lack of native support for music services like Spotify have likely stymied Apple's sales.

The HomePod is still new and Apple has just entered the smart speaker market, so improvements and changes to future products could drastically change its position and present some real competition for Amazon and Google. Apple is rumored to be considering a lower-priced HomePod that would perhaps sell for $150 to $200.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Buy Now)

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Top Rated Comments

levitynyc Avatar
81 months ago
Drop the damn price.

$249 and a hell of lot more people would buy this gimped product.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Eduardo1971 Avatar
81 months ago
Personally; I am happy with my HomePod-I knew full well of its limitations but a really love its audio quality at its price point (I also have two Sonos Play:1).
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fishbert Avatar
81 months ago
I'm guessing this "units shipped" figure doesn't subtract out the number of returns. And I seem to recall news a few weeks ago that there was a relatively high rate of return for HomePod.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NT1440 Avatar
81 months ago
Are we going to continue the myth that Apple is even attempting to be a marketshare leader in any field they play in? Who in their right mind "competes" with a product category that sells at razor thin margins?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
masterleep Avatar
81 months ago
I bought one to operate as a speaker from my phone, knowing that Siri was a steaming pile and not really caring about that aspect of it. The very first time I tried to play music from a playlist at a party, the music kept cutting in and out. This is about the most basic use case imaginable. What the hell, Apple?
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hamiltonrwatch Avatar
81 months ago
no doubt Siri will be improved with future updates
Doubt.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)