Apple Remains 'Largely Absent' in U.S. Smart Speaker Market
Apple remains "largely absent" in the U.S. smart speaker market while Amazon and Google continue to dominate, according to data gathered by Consumer Research Intelligence Partners (CIRP).
Since 2017, Amazon has been the dominant company in the smart speaker market, with over two-thirds of smart speakers in U.S. homes being Amazon devices. Google holds about a one-quarter share of smart speaker devices, while Apple and Facebook have the small remaining share.
Josh Lowitz, CIRP partner and co-founder, said that while the installed base of smart speakers added over 25 million units over the past year, reaching a total of 126 million units, Apple still "failed to make meaningful inroads." According to Lowitz, Apple's original HomePod strategy, "with a single premium-priced model competing against products that included low-priced entry-level devices" struggled to gain a significant share of sales, which has led to other brands growing faster and establishing a grip on consumers.
Last year, Apple discontinued the original HomePod and introduced the HomePod mini, a smaller smart speaker priced at just $99. In spite of the launch of the HomePod mini, CIRP's data shows little change between Apple's market share in 2020 and 2021.
CIRP estimates that over 20 million U.S. households have more than one Amazon Echo device, while about eight million U.S. households have multiple Google Home units, meaning that 43 percent of Amazon Echo owners and 38 percent of Google Home owners have more than one smart speaker. By comparison, only two million households have more than one HomePod.
Apple is rumored to be rethinking its smart home strategy, scrapping an updated model for 2022, and introducing new HomePod models, including one with a screen and a camera for FaceTime calls and one that is combined with an Apple TV.
CIRP's latest data was based on a survey of 500 U.S. owners of Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, surveyed from July 1 to July 8, 2021, who owned one of these devices as of June 30, 2021.