The original HomePod was a massive failure for Apple, with the company failing to attract customers despite the excellent sound quality offered by its smart speaker. Apple launched the HomePod mini as a replacement for the original HomePod in October last year. It looks like the mini speaker has helped Apple make inroads in the smart speaker market.
A new Omida report says that the launch of the HomePod mini helped Apple’s smart speaker share to grow at “historic rates.” The company’s market share in the US has jumped from 9.6 percent in the first half of 2020 to 21 percent in 2021, an increase of about 245 percent. The report does not that Apple discontinuing the original HomePod might have also helped boost the sales of the smart speaker, as Apple enthusiasts rushed to buy the remaining inventory of the speaker.
The lower $99 price tag of the HomePod mini has likely played a big role in the new HomePod mini making inroads in the smart speaker market.
Apple still has a long way to catch up to Amazon and Google in the smart speaker market though. Interestingly, Google managed to dethrone Amazon as the leader in the US smart speaker market. It captured 41.8 percent of the US market share in Q2 2021 and shipped about 800,000 smart speakers more than Amazon. The latter saw its smart shipments decline by a notable 31.3 percent, leading to its market share declining from 56.9 percent in Q2 2020 to 33.6 percent in Q2 2021.
The report notes that the slowdown in the sale of smart speakers in the US is inevitable, with market penetration reaching nearly 60 percent. Nonetheless, Apple will stand to benefit with the adoption of Matter as the new smart home standard. But for that, the company “will need to release another speaker: portable speaker or speaker with a display” to attract new consumers.