Smart Speakers: Apple to sell 3.8 million HomePod speakers in 2018

by David Watkins | Jan 29, 2018

Apple will finally launch its HomePod smart speaker on February 9th 2018 and will be hoping that its music-first approach will help it to make inroads into Amazon and Google’s early market lead. 

Regardless of whether Apple had managed to launch the HomePod on time back in December 2017, Apple starts a long way behind its rivals in the smart speaker market and faces a significant challenge when it comes to taking consumer mind share away from Amazon and Google. 

Of course, history has repeatedly shown that Apple is capable of achieving considerable success even when entering an already crowded market but there is growing sentiment that Apple may have left it too late this time to make a significant impact in smart speakers. Despite being first to market Siri’s capabilities have fallen well behind those of Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant while Strategy Analytics consumer research findings suggest that Apple will find it very difficult to persuade existing Amazon Echo or Google Home users to switch to Apple’s Siri-powered HomePod. Owners of these devices are much more likely to buy a secondary product from the same company.

Amazon and Google are rapidly building their presence in the home thanks to their collaborative and open-source approach. Apple risks either missing out completely on the lucrative connected home market or at best becoming a niche player unless it urgently refocuses investment on improving its AI assistant capabilities and significantly broadens its HomeKit ecosystem.
 
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