What you need to know
- Amazon continues to dominate the smart home speaker market.
- Google has slowly made gains over the last few years.
- Apple continues to be nonexistent in comparison.
Apple's HomePod is a truly impressive smart speaker that easily sports the best audio quality out of most, if not all, smart speakers in existence today. The "smart" side of the speaker has also continued to see improvements with better Siri support, multiuser support, and Handoff support. All of these things however have still not amounted to HomePod making much of a dent against the real powerhouses in the smart home speaker market: Amazon and Google.
Reported by TechCrunch, Amazon continues to dominate the smart home speaker industry with over 70% of consumers using an Amazon Echo device instead of another speaker like Google's Nest, Apple's HomePod, or another brand's smart speaker. Google has made a little bit of progress in grabbing market share over the last couple of years, moving its share of the business from 25.7% in 2017 to 31.1% in 2019.
Apple, in comparison, has such a minority stake in this area that its HomePod has gotten lumped together in the "Other" category with all other smart speaker brands. The "Others" have grown in users from 9.7% in 2017 to 17.9% in 2019, but it is unclear how much of that consists of HomePod users.
One of Apple's biggest hurdles in growing HomePod adoption is the price. The smart speaker currently retails for $299, while Amazon and Google offer their base model smart speakers for around $49 and frequently put them on sale. There has been rumor of a HomePod Mini to help Apple get closer to this price point but, at least for now, it's either six Echos or one HomePod - an easy choice for most consumers.