Canalys: Apple 'Still Has Much to Prove' With HomePod Mini in Crowded Smart Speaker Market

A new report from Canalys has forecasted the global smart speaker market for next year, projecting that it will reach 163 million units, a growth of 21 percent.

HomePodandMini16x9blue

Mainland China is expected to be the main market for smart speakers next year with a growth of 16 percent. The rest of the market is expected to grow by just three percent. In spite of this, 2021 is believed to be a much stronger year for smart speakers due to increased demand, as well as improved products and availability.

HomePod mini is presumed to pose a challenge to incumbent smart speakers, although Canalys Research Manager Jason Low says that the new device may yet face some challenges.

Apple still has much to prove to attract users, especially as the HomePod mini is up against other new US$99 devices, which are larger in size and with assistants perceived to be smarter. Apple must deliver its acclaimed premium user experience by leveraging its proprietary ecosystem of hardware, software and services. The HomePod mini would give its competitors a run for their money if the sound quality proves to be better despite its smaller size, and if the UWB and Intercom features work seamlessly for users.

It is also notable that Apple will be the only global platform vendor selling hardware and services within China.

"The US$99 (approximately CYN700) price segment is pretty much a no-mans-land in China, yet adequate to appeal to Apple’s user-base. Apple should take this opportunity to drive the uptake of its music and other services consumed at home," said Canalys Research Analyst Cynthia Chen.

The global smart speaker installed base is forecast to reach 640 million units by 2024, which Canalys says is "paving the way for the ambient computing paradigm shift."

Related Roundups: HomePod, HomePod mini
Tags: China, Canalys

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Top Rated Comments

hlfway2anywhere Avatar
48 months ago
Apple doesnt need to prove anything. The HomePod is a great speaker and people who want it and like it will buy it if they see the value in it. People who are fine with speakers that collect their data and sound like oversized cell phone speakers can keep their Amazon echo and google home.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
adamjackson Avatar
48 months ago
I would agree but, and I just filled out one of Apple's 15 minute surveys, this one about HomePod and I provided the only area of displeasure I have with this speaker is Siri.

These things consumers know are true about HomePod
[LIST=1]
* Fantastic Sound quality
* Amazing microphones and can hear you across the house
* Amazing 1st party integration with the apple ecosystem
* multi-user and knows your calendar and address book
* Can be paired and used in stereo pairs
* Excellent integration with apple music and podcasts
* New intercom will be a game changer for affluent families in large sprawling mcMansions
* Apple is a company that puts privacy first


Therefore, $99-$300 for a speaker is 'reasonable' for people who an afford it who are already all-in on Apple spending $1000 on their phones and $3,000 on their laptops but the key thing holding HomePod back isn't price..that's part of it. Homepod's pricing makes this not an impulse purchase but Alexa and Google's box thing are very fast at responding and get responses right very often. I have a whole-home HomeKit setup..everything is connected and Siri misses my commands about 20% of the time on any given day. It's just me, no other noises and when I tell it to lock the doors, turn off lights or set a scene, Siri will reply "got it!" very enthusiastically and nothing actually happened or say "hmmmm" and then nothing. These misses are frustrating but I'd rather ditch HomeKit completely than switch to a company that isn't putting privacy first so apple has me 100% but Siri is holding HomePod back..followed by pricing....followed by 3rd party integrations.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hlfway2anywhere Avatar
48 months ago

Homepod and Mini are simply mediocre in terms of both sound and Siri. Rather amusing to see Apple trying to play catch-up.
Oh? Where were you able to hear the mini which doesn’t get released for another 22 days?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hlfway2anywhere Avatar
48 months ago

Except it's NOT an opinion. They are better than the average smart speaker which is pure garbage but there are plenty of real speakers that blow these away. Even 9 year old desk top B&W MM-1 speakers are selling for what they did new because of audio quality and there are better.
“Better” is an opinion... this is elementary level education.
Facts look like this:
Amazon echo studio uses 5 speakers to produce sound and costs $199

Apple HomePod uses 7 tweeters and a woofer to produce sound, and costs $299.

Opinions look like this: echo studio is better than the HomePod.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tymeframe Avatar
48 months ago
With the HomePod mini's affordable price, we're excited to start phasing out our alexa devices.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nwcs Avatar
48 months ago

Homepod and Mini are simply mediocre in terms of both sound and Siri. Rather amusing to see Apple trying to play catch-up.
Also amusing to see an opinion presented as fact.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)