According to a new market research, Apple has estimated to have sold about 600,000 HomePod speakers during the first quarter of 2018. This puts Apple in the fourth position in the smart speaker market, trailing behind Amazon, Google and even the Chinese giant, Alibaba.
According to the same report by Strategy Analytics, Amazon managed to sell 4 million Echo speakers during the first quarter of 2018, allowing it to enjoy a market share of 43.6 percent. Google on the other hand, shipped 2.4 million Google Home speakers, and has a market share of 26.5 percent. Apple currently holds 6 percent of the market share, falling behind Alibaba by a small margin.
This means Apple has a long way to go in catching up with Amazon and Google. That said, the companies also have an advantage, considering they entered the market a lot earlier and even offer a range of speakers across price categories. Apple on the other hand only has the HomePod, which went on sale in February with a high price tag of $349 (approximately Rs 23,700).
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The Apple HomePod also carries some other limitations. Starting with the fact that it is only compatible with Apple devices. The missing support for other music streaming services, apart from Apple Music, is also a huge drawback. Its only benefit is premium sound quality, but it clearly isn’t enough to support the high price tag. Apple has a lot of changes to make in its strategy. The company is rumored to be working on a low-price HomePod, which could retail around $150 (approximately Rs. 10,100).
The smart speaker market seems to be growing at an enormous rate, with a total of 9.2 million speakers shipped in the first quarter of 2018. Besides Google and Amazon, Apple is also facing competition from Chinese entrants in the market like Alibaba and Xiaomi.