Apple shipped an estimated 2.6 million HomePods during the fourth quarter of 2019, earning it 4.7 percent of the smart speaker market, according to new estimates shared today by Strategy Analytics.Apple was the number six worldwide smart speaker market vendor, shipping fewer speakers than Amazon, Google, Baidu, Alibaba, and Xiaomi.
Amazon was the number one smart speaker vendor in the world during Q4 2019, shipping an estimated 15.8 million speakers for 28.3 percent market share. Google came in second with 13.9 million speakers shipped and 24.9 percent market share, followed by Chinese brands Baidu, Alibaba, and Xiaomi.
Apple shipped one million more HomePods in Q4 2019 than it did in Q4 2018 when it shipped 1.6 million, marking a 65 percent increase in growth. That didn’t translate to a major increase in market share though as Apple ships so many fewer speakers than other brands.
The overall smart speaker market was up 44.7 percent with 55.7 million total shipments, up from the 38.5 million shipped in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Strategy Analytics says that it expects 2020 to be another record year for smart speaker sales despite the disruption to supply and demand caused by the coronavirus.
There’s no word on whether Apple will be able to increase speaker shipments in 2020, as Strategy Analytics says consumers are drawn to low prices.
“Consumer appetite for smart speakers remained undimmed during the all-important Q4 period as newly launched devices with improved feature sets and audio performance helped drive record quarterly shipments. Consumers across the world were once again enticed by scarcely believable deals from leading brands such as Google, Amazon, Baidu and Alibaba, while Google in particular stepped up its giveaway promotional activity in partnership with brands such as YouTube and Spotify.”
Apple’s HomePod is priced at $299 in the United States and is available in a limited number of countries. Apple is rumored to be working on a lower-cost version of the HomePod that will be released at some point in 2020, so that could potentially boost sales depending on whether its price point can match some of the much cheaper speakers offered by other vendors.Another smart speaker sales report recently suggested that Amazon will hold on to its position as the number one smart speaker vendor through at least 2021.