Apple’s HomePod has grabbed 6% of the smart speaker market share in the U.S., while Amazon Echo has 70% and Google Home has 24%, according to a report published by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP).
“Apple introduced HomePod in the first quarter, and now has a small but meaningful share,” says Josh Lowitz, the partner and co-founder of CIRP, in a statement.
The three companies don’t actually compete on a fair ground. The reason is that Amazon released the first Echo device back in 2014, while Google in 2016, and Apple in 2018. The two-year head start gave Amazon a clear advantage.
Furthermore, Amazon and Google both provide a lower-priced speaker (around US$50) for consumers who might have the give-it-a-try mindset. Apple only offers one option – the US$349 HomePod that is claimed to have better sound quality.
“It’s not clear how much further Apple can establish itself in the market without a more competitive model,” said Lowitz.
Both Amazon and Google are trying to bring their AI assistants into more devices at home, from a speaker with a touchscreen, to security camera, thermostat, light switch and smart TV.
The tech giants want consumers to have more devices with voice assistant built-in. And it works. According to CIRP, one-third of smart speaker owners have more than one device, and almost 10% of Echo users have three or more.
“The strategy or a very low-priced smart speaker encourages users to try one, and then add more as they get comfortable with the concept,” said Mike Levin, the partner and co-founder of CIRP, in a statement.
The number of smart speakers in use in the U.S. has reached 50 million, according to the CIRP report.