Globally, the winners of smart speakers are Amazon and Google, China’s Baidu, Ali and Xiaomi, with Apple’s HomePod in sixth place, according to the latest data releases released today by data agency Strategy Analytics. Amazon was the world’s largest supplier of smart speakers in the fourth quarter of 2019, with 15.8 million shipments, or 28.3 percent of the market; Google came in second with 13.9 million shipments with 24.9 percent of the market; and Chinese brands Baidu, Alibaba and Xiaomi followed closely.
Smart Speaker Shipments for Strategy Analytics
Apple’s HomePod smart speaker shipped an estimated 2.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2019, ranking sixth with a 4.7 percent share of the smart speaker market.
In fact, Apple’s Home Pod shipments in the fourth quarter of 2019 increased by 1 million units compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, an increase of 65% year-on-year. That didn’t help it much to gain market share.
The overall market for smart speakers grew by 44.7%, with a total volume of 55.7 million units, up from 38.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018. Strategy Analytics said 2020 is expected to be a record year for smart speaker sales, despite a temporary supply chain shutdown caused by the coronavirus.
On the list, Amazon and Google have a first-mover advantage, both of which have earlier launched their own smart speaker products, and price advantage, their smart speakers have extended out of multiple categories, covering a larger price range. The same is true of China’s three manufacturers on the list.
Strategy Analytics says consumers are attracted to low prices, while Apple’s HomePod costs $299 in the U.S. and isn’t too much for the country.
Apple has been rumored to be working on a lower-cost HomePod, which will be released sometime in 2020, possibly to boost sales. But in the twitter feed, most of the feedback from the user was not high-priced, but homePod for a single purpose, which has good sound quality, but seems to find too many usage scenarios except for Apple Music and AirPlay playback.