After more than three long years of underwhelming sales, the inevitable finally happened for Apple's rookie smart speaker effort a few months back. Of course, the Cupertino-based tech giant didn't completely abandon the thriving Amazon-dominated market, choosing to focus entirely on the much more competitive HomePod mini
after officially discontinuing the unpopular OG HomePod.
It turns out that was the right move for the insanely successful company
, at least according to the first quarterly report released by Omdia on the heels of the full-sized HomePod's predictable death.
As quoted by 9To5Mac
, said report still ranks Apple behind both Amazon and Google in US smart speaker shipments, but compared to the second quarter of last year, the nation's third-largest manufacturer somehow managed to register a mind-blowing 180 percent growth.
That's right, a grand total of 2.46 million HomePod
and HomePod mini
units were apparently shipped stateside between April and June 2021, up from less than a million during the same quarter of 2020.
While it's pretty obvious that the smaller and cheaper Siri-enabled speaker had the biggest contribution to this incredible surge, Omdia's researchers think that the first-gen HomePod's discontinuance also made a significant number of "Apple enthusiasts" rush to buy remaining stocks.
Because something like that can no longer happen going forward
, Apple's Q3 and Q4 2021 sales may not end up improving last year's numbers by as much as 180 percent. But the HomePod mini is expected to continue outselling its overpriced forerunner by a large margin, and the release of a third HomePod model
could easily propel Apple to the top spot in the US vendor chart.
Believe it or not, the company has managed to jump from a 10.2 percent market share in Q2 2020 to almost 25 percentage points in Q2 2021. That brings Apple
just 9 percent behind Amazon, which sits in second place after single-handedly accounting for more than half of the country's smart speaker shipments in the April - June 2020 timeframe.
For some reason, the e-commerce giant's Echo devices have fallen off a cliff all of a sudden, making way for Google
to move into first place with a 41.8 percent slice of the overall pie and decent 47.8 percent year-on-year sales growth.
Although the gap between Google and Apple is still pretty substantial, a smart speaker with a display to give Amazon's Echo Show family and the Nest Hub line a run for their money could join forces with the HomePod mini and put today's number three industry player on the sure path to US and perhaps even global domination. Unfortunately, no one knows if a HomePod "Show" will ever materialize.