The latest study from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) points to Apple occupying a 6 percent share of the smart speaker market in the United States. The total smart speaker users in the U.S. is estimated to be around 66 million units, with around 4 million users preferring the HomePod.
That’s an awfully low number, though not surprising since the HomePod at $349 is notably more expensive than offerings from Google and Amazon. The report says that Amazon dominates the smart speaker market with a market share of 70 percent followed by Google with a 24 percent share. Amazon’s and Google’s share in the smart speaker segment can be attributed to their low-cost Echo Dot and Home mini offerings which retail for around $50. During sales, these smart speakers are usually available for as low as $25. And despite the best discount, we have only seen the HomePod go as low as $249 — that’s 10x more expensive!
The smart speaker market has been steadily increasing in the United States. The firm estimates that there were 36 million smart speaker units in the U.S. in December 2017 which has increased to 66 million by December 2018.
CIRP also believes that the market share of Google and Amazon has remained largely unchanged throughout 2018. Both companies have been rolling out major improvements to their voice assistants to enhance its capabilities. Apple, on the other hand, is still playing catch up with Siri on the HomePod. Apart from its limited availability, Siri lacks a number of features when compared to Google Assistant on the Google Home and Alexa on Amazon Echo set of speakers.
Unlike Amazon and Google, Apple does not offer a cheap smart speaker as well and that is likely playing a huge role here as well. There have been rumors of Apple working on a low-cost HomePod but given the lack of any concrete leaks, I’d say that’s not happening anytime soon.