HomePod Struggling to Gain Market Share Alongside Cheaper Amazon Echo and Google Home Speakers

Apple's expensive HomePod speaker accounted for just six percent of the U.S. smart speaker installed base through the fourth quarter of 2018, according to research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

homepod on shelf
CIRP estimates that the U.S. installed base of smart speakers reached 66 million units last quarter, suggesting that ‌HomePod‌ sales in the country have totaled around 3.96 million units since the speaker became available to order in January 2018. Apple does not disclose exact ‌HomePod‌ sales figures.

By comparison, the Amazon Echo and Google Home accounted for a commanding 70 percent and 24 percent of the installed base respectively as of last quarter, with both products proving to be popular holiday gifts.

cirp homepod q4 2018
At $349, the ‌HomePod‌ is significantly more expensive than the Amazon Echo and Google Home. The small, entry-level Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini models in particular were available for as low as $25 during the holiday season, while the ‌HomePod‌ is only available in one size.

"Amazon and Google both have broad model lineups, ranging from basic to high-end, with even more variants from Amazon. Apple of course has only its premium-priced ‌HomePod‌, and likely won't gain significant share until it offers an entry-level product closer to Echo Dot and Home mini," said CIRP co-founder Josh Lowitz.

To improve sales, many resellers offered the ‌HomePod‌ for $249 during the holiday season. Even now, the speaker is available for $279.99 at Best Buy, a $70 discount compared to its price on Apple.com.

In fairness, the ‌HomePod‌ also launched two to three years after many of its competitors, and sales remain limited to the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Mexico, China, and Hong Kong. But without a steeper price cut, the speaker faces an uphill battle.

In April 2018, well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple was "mulling" a "low-cost version" of the HomePod, potentially due to shipments of the current version being "far below market expectations." A report out of China said the lower-cost ‌HomePod‌ could be priced between $150 and $200 in the United States.

It's unclear if Apple would be willing to release a ‌HomePod‌ speaker with inferior sound quality versus the current model. Last year, a Chinese report said the lower-priced ‌HomePod‌ could actually be a Siri-enabled Beats speaker.

CIRP bases its findings on its survey of 500 U.S. owners of the ‌HomePod‌, Amazon Echo, and Google Home, surveyed from January 1-11, 2019, who owned one of those speakers as of December 31, 2018.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Tag: CIRP
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

LordVic Avatar
31 months ago
I'm not sure this comes to a surprise to anyone, except maybe Apple's executives....
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Martius Avatar
31 months ago
High price + stupid Siri = low sales. Can I get a job at Apple?
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChrisMoBro Avatar
31 months ago
Why are Sonos speakers never included in the list? Comparing the Sonos One is a more realistic comparison than budget speakers.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WannaGoMac Avatar
31 months ago
$249 was cheap enough for the device, but I still passed because a) Siri still blows b) To use other music services with it you have to stream to it via Airplay, which defeats the point of a smart speaker.

I wish they would cancel HomePod and bring back Airport routers!
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LordVic Avatar
31 months ago
Tim will spin this as good news. (ala. bent iPad is "within spec" )

Since they are selling this product at a loss. They will lose less money by selling fewer!

Tim's a genius!
The typical "fanboy" response in this thread will be

"but amongst $354+ smart speakers, Apple sells the most!"

setting the goalposts somewhere that is ridiculous and arbitrary.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GreenPixel Avatar
31 months ago
Not surprised at all. I'd love to get one but it's not worth anywhere near the price point it's set at to me.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple watch 6s 202009

Bloomberg: Apple Watch Series 7 to Feature Thinner Screen Bezels, Faster Processor, and Updated Ultra Wideband Tech

Monday June 14, 2021 3:41 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 7 is likely to have thinner display bezels and use a new lamination technique that brings the display closer to the front cover, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The Cupertino, California-based tech giant is planning to refresh the line this year -- with a model likely dubbed the Apple Watch Series 7 -- by adding a faster processor,...
ios 15 home screen icons

iOS 15 Lets You Drag and Drop Images and Text Across Apps

Saturday June 12, 2021 3:17 pm PDT by
Apple this week previewed iOS 15, which is available now in beta for developers ahead of a public release later this year. One smaller but useful new feature added is the ability to drag and drop images, text, files, and more across apps on iPhone. MacStories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci demonstrated the new feature in a tweet: Using cross-app drag and drop on iPhone in iOS 15. Finally 🎉 #WW ...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
apple virtual game controller ios 15

Apple Makes New On-Screen Game Controller Available to Developers on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

Saturday June 12, 2021 12:36 pm PDT by
During the Platforms State of the Union at WWDC this week, Apple unveiled a new API for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 that enables developers to implement an on-screen virtual game controller in their iPhone and iPad games with just a few lines of code. While many iPhone and iPad games already offer on-screen controls, Apple's new virtual game controller is available to all developers, easy to add,...
ipad mini 6

Next iPad Mini Will Allegedly Feature Thinner Bezels, USB-C Port, and Touch ID Power Button

Friday June 11, 2021 1:13 pm PDT by
On his newly launched Front Page Tech website, leaker Jon Prosser has shared renders showing off the alleged design of the next-generation iPad mini, which he says are based on schematics, CAD files, and real images of the device. In line with details shared earlier this month by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu, Prosser claims that the new iPad mini will feature slimmer bezels around...
maxresdefault

Apple Promotes iPad Pro in New Ad With 'The Little Mermaid' Musical Spin

Saturday June 12, 2021 7:01 am PDT by
In a currently unlisted ad on YouTube, Apple is promoting the versatility, portability, and power of the M1 iPad Pro in a fun musical inspired by The Little Mermaid's "Part of Your World" soundtrack. In the ad, which features the main character using an M1 iPad Pro, Magic Keyboard, and Apple Pencil, multiple users can be seen struggling with their old PCs indoors while hoping that they can...
passwords system preferences

macOS Monterey Features Dedicated Password Section in System Preferences, Built-In Authenticator and More

Friday June 11, 2021 2:32 pm PDT by
macOS Monterey makes several improvements to password management, positioning iCloud Keychain as an ideal password service to replace third-party services like Lastpass and 1Password. In System Preferences, there's a new "Passwords" section that houses all of your iCloud Keychain logins and passwords so they're easier to get to, edit, and manage. There's a similar Passwords section that's...
macos monterey tidbits feature copy

macOS Monterey Tidbits: Animated Memoji on Login Screen, Change the Color of the Mouse Pointer, and More

Friday June 11, 2021 10:27 am PDT by
We've highlighted several new features coming in macOS Monterey, such as Low Power Mode and the option to erase a Mac without reinstalling the operating system, but there are some smaller tidbits that we wanted to share. Animated Memoji on Login Screen One small but fun new feature in macOS Monterey is the addition of a personalized Memoji on the login screen, complete with animated facial...
m1 imac back

Some M1 iMac Models Shipping With Crooked Mountings

Monday June 14, 2021 12:50 pm PDT by
Some M1 iMacs appear to have a manufacturing defect that causes the display to be mounted on the stand in a way that's not perfectly aligned, leading to a crooked display. YouTuber iPhonedo over the weekend published a review of the M1 iMac, and he found that his machine appeared to be tilted on one side, a mounting disparity that was visibly noticeable and proved with a ruler. Another...
mr white ipod touch 5 protoype3

Unreleased iPod Touch 5 With Chamfered Edges and 30-Pin Dock Connector Shared Online

Thursday June 10, 2021 2:05 am PDT by
Occasional leaker Mr White has today shared interesting images on Twitter of what appears to be an old-school fifth-generation iPod touch prototype with chamfered edges and a brushed aluminum finish. The original iPod touch 5 that Apple released in October 2012 had a unibody anodized aluminum chassis with rounded edges, and was available in several colors, including slate. Another...