After some lengthy delays Apple’s new HomePod smartspeakers finally hit store shelves in early February. Now that we have almost three months of sales data in hand analysts are starting to figure out what kind of market share impact HomePod is making. Unfortunately for Tim Cook and Co the early results aren’t looking very good.
During Q1’18 Apple commanded 10% of the US smartspeaker market – graph below. Right now you might be thinking 10% isn’t bad out of the gate, but remember that percentage includes pre-orders. Every time Apple debuts a new device its legion of Apple-heads line up to be the first one on their block with the shiny new toy. That’s exactly what happened during the first three weeks of the launch. However, after Week 3 HomePod sales dropped to about 4% of the market – which makes their initial sales success more of a fad than a trend line.
Apple appears to have missed the mark with HomePod. It’s sticker price in the $350 range is about 2-3x other smartspeakers, and it’s AI brains aren’t as advanced as Alexa or Google. According to early reviews “HomePod is mostly limited to playing tunes from Apple Music, controlling a limited number of Apple-optimized smart home appliances and sending messages through an iPhone.” In other words, it’s a really expensive wireless speaker which can be paired to other Apple devices just like your iPhone can. This doesn’t feel like the strongest device offering to ever come out of Cupertino, right?