Latest survey shows why Apple needs to produce a HomePod mini

Latest survey shows why Apple needs to produce a HomePod mini
The latest data on the U.S. smart speaker industry from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) indicates that as of the end of June, the number of smart speakers actively used in the states is now 76 million. That is up from the 70 million in use at the end of March and a 52% increase from the number of smart speakers active a year ago. Amazon, the company that created the category with the 2015 launch of the Echo, has 70% of the U.S. installed base with Google's Home devices accounting for 25%. Apple's HomePod speakers make up only 5% of the active smart speakers in the states. The data is based on a survey of 500 Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod owners from July 1-10, 2019 who owned one of these devices as of June 30, 2019.

Perhaps the biggest reason for Apple's failure with the HomePod is its price. Originally priced at $349, Apple permanently dropped the price to $299 back in April. But as CIRP pointed out today, more than half the smart speakers that make up the U.S. installed base are the lower-priced entry-level models like the Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home mini. During promotional periods, those devices can be found for as low as $25. If there ever was a reason for Apple to produce a lower-priced "mini" version of the HomePod, this is it.

A rumored entry-level smart speaker from Apple under the Beats name never materialized


Since a smart speaker is essentially nothing more than a speaker equipped with a virtual digital assistant, those who don't care about the quality of the sound from their device can get the same features from a lower priced unit. Apple might have put a lot of work into its speaker, equipping it with spatial awareness for example, but it is the other part of the HomePod where Apple falls short; most consumers prefer Google Assistant or Amazon's Alexa over Apple's Siri.


In May of last year, a rumor emanating from the good ol' Taiwan supply-chain indicated that Apple was working on a lower-priced smart speaker that would be sold under its Beats by Dr. Dre imprint. That is similar to what happened with the wireless Bluetooth AirPods, except that the Beats Powerbeats Pro are a more expensive, premium version of a wireless earworn accessory.


Smart speakers can be used to stream music, obtain the latest news, weather, sports scores, and stock prices. They also can be employed to order a pizza, arrange a rideshare, send texts, make a phone call, control smart appliances and much, much more. As you can see from the greater than 50% increase in the U.S. installed base year-over-year, smart speakers still have plenty of room to grow in the short term.

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16 Comments

1. scarface21173

Posts: 655; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

You will never see apple selling devices for $25, remember there a premium brand lol, Cook would choke at the thought of it.

7. sgodsell

Posts: 7158; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You won't see Apple selling an inexpensive smart speaker because Apple's Siri requires one of their platforms, like iOS, iPad OS, or watchOS. Therefore you will never see an inexpensive Siri smart speaker, because it needs their Ax SoCs. Well unless Apple decouples Siri from their platforms, like Amazon's Alexa, or Google's Assistant. But Apple hasn't done that, nor do I think they ever will do anything like that. Putting all that aside Siri's smarts, and what she can play via voice is very limited compared to the others. Siri is not worth it unless Apple opens up Siri a lot more.

8. sgodsell

Posts: 7158; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You know it's been over a year and a half since the HomePod has been released, and iOS developers still to this day cannot make any standalone Siri voice apps.

2. ahmadkun

Posts: 559; Member since: May 02, 2016

Interesting.. you want Apple to make HomePod mini to sell it to you for $149.

3. iloveapps

Posts: 855; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

This is really stupid research. Apple would never sell cheap products. Its a premium company. I’m very happy with my two HomePods by the way.

4. Alcyone

Posts: 298; Member since: May 10, 2018

Congrats on overpayong for stereo sound. Good to know Apple sold at least 2 homepods.

5. KingSam

Posts: 1421; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Even a $100-$150 homepod is a price people can swallow.

6. JRPG_Guy

Posts: 139; Member since: Jan 13, 2019

Some smart speakers are $25. I don't see apple ever gaining market share

9. TS020

Posts: 33; Member since: Feb 16, 2019

The price isn't the issue, the issue is the Homepod's complete lack of functionality.

11. palmguy

Posts: 977; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

To sell a smartspeaker it must 1st be, say it with me.....smart.

12. midan

Posts: 2671; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

You can update your smartspeaker to be smarter and smarter with OS updates, but you can't make your s**tty smartspeaker to sound better. Also what i've seen in YouTube videos, HomePod smart features are comparable to others. If you don't value great sound first, HomePod clearly isn't for you. If i would buy smartspeaker the sound quality would be most important thing.

14. Vancetastic

Posts: 1074; Member since: May 17, 2017

So....just buy a speaker. Your comment makes it sound like the “smart” part isn’t important to you. I know you can’t begin to admit it, but the HomePod is a rare miss for Apple. Deal with it.

16. sgodsell

Posts: 7158; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Midan stop being a liar. Smart speaker features are not comparable to the others. The others have gone way past what the Siri based HomePod can do. Only a blind, deaf moron would say they are comparable. Especially when the others can make and run standalone third party voice apps for their smart speakers. Nobody can make any standalone voice apps for any HomePod. Not to mention when it comes to home appliances and compatibility with home controls, then Apple is still far behind. "If i would buy smartspeaker the sound quality would be most important thing." As a matter of fact there was a survey done recently and most people buy a smart speaker for its smarts, first. Everything else comes after. This could be because the others offer really inexpensive smart speakers that can connect to other speakers. Or they could be offering smart displays that also do everything a smart speaker can do, only they do a lot more. Or it could be that you could get much better an cheaper options that do a lot more than any HomePod (s). It's no secret that you are an Apple guy midan. But users could buy an Amazon Echo dot or a Google Home mini and easily connect it to Apples Beats Pill. You would get great stereo sound, and at a fraction of the cost of the HomePod, and you also get portability, and the Beats Pill is water proof. HomePod isn't. There was a sale on recently for $99 Beats Pill+. So you could buy two of those, and pair them together, then add in a Amazon Echo dot or Google Home mini. You have a really great smart speaker with awesome sound that could even work outside, since they are battery powered. To top it off if you got that sale price, you would have two portable stereo sound speakers that last 12 hours on their battery. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the HomePod is a really bad buy. Or to put it another way, it's a waste of money.

17. Man_Utd

Posts: 174; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

If you left your bubble, you would know that the competition has an audio output so you can pipe out to better speakers. Plus you would have better an actual smart speaker at a faction of the cost!

13. Shkselectah

Posts: 44; Member since: Jun 26, 2018

Siri is too dumb, hom pod is not worth the money

15. Vancetastic

Posts: 1074; Member since: May 17, 2017

It’s overpriced and underdeveloped. Apple lowered the price...how often does that happen?

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