Apple iPhone users more excited about the HomePod than they were about the Apple Watch launch

Apple's version of the smart speaker, the HomePod, is expected to launch this December. The company hopes that it will be able to get the product to market in time to capture some holiday sales during the last month of this year. According to securities house Raymond James, the HomePod is garnering more excitement from the Apple faithful than the Apple Watch did when the wearable was launched on April 24th, 2015.

Raymond James sent out a note to clients on Friday saying that according to its data, 14% of iPhone owners plan on purchasing a HomePod. A similar survey it took prior to the release of the Apple Watch showed that only 6% of iPhone users were planning on purchasing the watch at the time of its launch. On the other hand, 16% of iPhone owners say that they will buy an Amazon Echo smart speaker. Amazon created the smart speaker product category in 2014. The Apple HomePod is just one of the latest smart speakers from major manufacturers such as Google and Microsoft.

The smart speakers consist of a speaker and an AI personal assistant. For example, the Echo uses Amazon's Alexa, the Microsoft Invoke employs Cortana, and Apple will use Siri on the HomePod. The product is used to control smart appliances, receive information on the weather, obtain sports scores and stock prices, and some models will make and take phone calls. Apple is planning to integrate Apple Music with its smart speaker, allowing users to request the streaming of certain playlists.

To compute a finally tally, Raymond James included the 5% of iPhone users who plan on buying a Beats speaker or an Apple speaker. With that in mind, the brokerage firm says that 19% of iPhone owners plan on purchasing an Apple HomePod or a Beats speaker as opposed to the 16% who are interested in the Amazon Echo. Only 2% of those with an iPhone are considering the Google Home.

While Apple doesn't break out sales data for some individual products like the Apple Watch, Beats speakers, AirPods and other devices, it does throw these things into an all-inclusive category called "other products." Sales of this group rose 31% last quarter on a year-over-year basis. That also could indicate that a strong start is likely for the Apple HomePod.

source: CNBC

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