Apple HomePod claims modest 6 percent share of 66 million US smart speaker market

Apple HomePod claims modest 6 percent share of 66 million US smart speaker market
Even though Apple released its first (and so far only) smart speaker more than a year after the original Google Home made its commercial debut, which itself came far behind the first Amazon Echo generation, the HomePod was widely expected to quickly gain traction.

Due largely to ever-growing competition from a slew of low-cost Echos and Google Home variations, that hasn’t happened yet, and according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), it’s unlikely to happen until Apple decides to expand the HomePod family.

The latest CIRP survey of 500 US-based smart speaker owners, conducted between January 1 and 11, found that Amazon accounted for a whopping 70 percent of the nation’s estimated installed base, followed by Google at 24 percent and Apple with a microscopic 6 percent market share.

While that’s an admittedly small sample size and the research doesn’t take into account smart speakers from other companies either, it’s definitely interesting to note how those numbers have evolved over the past year or so.

For one thing, CIRP analysts believe there are around 66 million such voice-controlled devices in US circulation right now, up from 53 million just three months ago and a measly 36 million units back in December 2017.

Despite that impressive growth (nearly 85 percent in 12 months), “relative market shares have remained fairly stable” between the three major industry players, with Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod “accounting for consistent shares over the past few quarters.”

In fact, Amazon, Google, and Apple have all retained their exact US market shares from the June 2018 quarter, which is certainly unusual. Interestingly, Google has “mostly caught up” to Amazon in terms of how many of its customers own more than one smart speaker. Overall, 35 percent of owners have at least two of these bad boys scattered around the house, up from only 18 percent a year ago.

Of course, the report doesn’t tackle revenues generated by the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, where the latter might reign supreme despite modest sales numbers. Apple typically plays these consumer hardware games to win profit, not volume, battles, so it’s unclear if the company has any interest in rivaling the crazy popular Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo Dot.

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