The HomePod mini Doubled Apple’s Smart Speaker Market Share
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Although smart speakers are still largely a side business for Apple, that didn’t stop the HomePod mini from being a game-changer when it comes to increasing Apple’s footprint in the home — and a recent industry analysis is backing this up with some solid numbers.
According to Strategy Analytics, even though the leaderboard in the smart speaker market remained unchanged in 2021, Apple began to close the gap, nearly doubling its market share compared to last year.
Not surprisingly, this was driven almost entirely by sales of the HomePod mini since, of course, that’s the only smart speaker that Apple still actually sells in any meaningful quantities.
Even so, some full-sized HomePods also likely contributed to the bottom line since even though Apple discontinued the original HomePod earlier this year, there was quite a bit of stock still to be sold off. The discontinued speaker also saw a resurgence in popularity as fans quickly snapped up the last ones they could find after the new 2021 Apple TV 4K let users turn a pair of HomePods into a full Home Theatre Audio system.
Still, it’s the $99 HomePod mini that’s turned out to be the clear leader of the pack, showing how badly Apple read the market when it released the original HomePod in 2018. That one may have been a brilliant feat of audio engineering, but it turns out it wasn’t the speaker that most people actually wanted.
By comparison, the softball-sized HomePod mini may not provide the best sound, but it’s more than good enough for a speaker in its price range, and it’s taken the market by storm. So much, in fact, that Apple saw fit to release three new colours for it this fall without a single hardware enhancement, and yet they’re still flying off the shelves.
To be fair, Apple has a long way to go before it catches up to Amazon and Google, which remain the two dominant players by a healthy margin, collectively accounting for nearly half of the overall smart speaker market.
Meanwhile, Apple remains at just over 10% of the market, beating out Xiaomi but trailing slightly behind both Alibaba and Baidu.
However, it’s worth considering that Apple has managed to hit 10% with what is effectively only a single product. In comparison, Amazon’s 26.4% includes not only a variety of Echo speakers but also its smart displays like the Echo Show — a category that hasn’t even entered (at least not yet).
In fact, when breaking things down by product, Strategy Analytics notes that 18 of the top 50 models sold were smart displays, and it was Google’s Nest Hub that took the crown there with 1.5 million units shipped.
What’s noteworthy, however, is that this year the HomePod mini was the second-best-selling smart speaker, beating out Amazon’s fourth-generation Echo Dot — an impressive feat considering the HomePod mini sells for more than twice the price.
Google’s Nest mini still took the top spot overall, with 5 million units shipped, making up the lion’s share of Google’s 8.1 million smart speaker and smart display devices.
By comparison, Amazon sold 10.4 million devices, but this was most likely a hodgepodge of different models. Even though the fourth-generation Echo Dot was Amazon’s top seller, it still came in third place behind the HomePod mini.
According to Strategy Analytics report, Apple shipped four million smart speakers, and since the analysis measures shipments rather than sales, it’s fair to say that these numbers solely represent the HomePod mini.