Apple reportedly ships 600k HomePods during Q1 as Amazon faces increasing competition

  • Apple reportedly ships 600k HomePods during Q1 as Amazon faces increasing competition

Apple reportedly ships 600k HomePods during Q1 as Amazon faces increasing competition

Strategy Analytics has today released the numbers for its quarterly research of global smart speaker shipments in Q1 2018, revealing that Amazon's global market share has almost halved from the same period past year, with Apple has become the fourth largest smart speaker brand worldwide following the launch of the HomePod in February 2018. Neither Amazon nor Google are present on the Chinese market, which saw strong growth in the quarter, explaining the decline in their global market shares.

As expected, with the advantage of being the early mover, Amazon leads the market with 43.6% of all the shipments in Q1 2018.

However, while Apple is still a long way between market leaders Amazon and Google, it's worth noting that the HomePod didn't go on sale until 9 February, so Apple didn't have the full quarter to rack up sales. According to the reports, the global smart speaker market had a remarkable growth of 806% compared to the same quarter previous year, with an overall shipment of 9.2 million units. Google lifted its share to 26.5 percent from 12.4 percent.

The smart speaker market is heating up as the companies are focusing a lot on this segment. This puts Apple in the fourth position in the smart speaker market, trailing behind Amazon, Google and even the Chinese giant, Alibaba. While its 4 million unit shipments are impressive, it's certainly evident that it will have to do more to keep up with its newfound competition.

"We are clearly heading towards a time in the not too distant future when voice becomes a standard mode of technology interaction alongside established approaches like keyboard, mouse and touchscreen", Watkins said. So even though sound quality on the HomePod is unrivaled amongst other smart speakers, it appears that a top of the line intelligent assistant coupled with "good enough" sound quality is what consumers are mainly interested in.

With its entry into India, one of the largest markets on the globe and with multiple OEMs lined up for the production of smart displays, it seems Google will soon be dethroning Amazon.