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.


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.


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 (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

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11 months ago
I'm not sure this comes to a surprise to anyone, except maybe Apple's executives....
Rating: 60 Votes
11 months ago
High price + stupid Siri = low sales. Can I get a job at Apple?
Rating: 51 Votes
11 months ago
Why are Sonos speakers never included in the list? Comparing the Sonos One is a more realistic comparison than budget speakers.
Rating: 26 Votes
11 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!
Rating: 19 Votes
11 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.
Rating: 18 Votes
11 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.
Rating: 16 Votes
11 months ago
A ‘stating the obvious’ article. It may sound good, but Siri is miles and miles behind the others which is kind of the whole point of a ‘smart speaker’. So why spend more for an apple device when others can sound as good and cost the same or less and be more capable.
Rating: 15 Votes
11 months ago
I’ve had a completely different experience with Siri/HomeKit vs Alexa/WTF Amazon home is called. Alexa constantly misunderstands me, takes too long to complete commands, doesn’t do anything!!, or disconnects from the internet randomly. I have 3 echo dots that are slowly being retired and replaced with homepods so I actually have a functional smart home. The HomePod sound is far and away better than any of the Alexa speakers, and I can use the HomePod as an audio out device from my Mac using airplay 2. Yes they’re expensive, but for what you get they’re pretty sweet.
Rating: 10 Votes
11 months ago
Devices like this being locked down to the ecosystem are what prevent sales. Apple is trying to break into an existing market by offering sub-par performance and limited compatability. I realize they want to push Apple Music, but maybe allowing the other services while offering free trials as well as allowing apple music on non-apple devices would broaden their exposure.

Ecosystems are great at protecting the apple experience, but that ecosystem shouldn't restrict services simply to promote Apple branded services. Imagine if the iPhone store only allowed Apple branded apps.
Rating: 10 Votes
11 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!

And they are mulling a low cost Homepod? While at the same time there is no chance in hell they will ever make another low cost iPhone. Which one would help Apple's bottom line more?
Rating: 9 Votes

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