Apple sold an estimated 600000 HomePod speakers in Q1

Federico Mansilla
May 18, 2018

An Emarketer report from May 2017 found that Amazon dominates the voice-controlled speaker market in the U.S. at 70.6%, while Google Home captured 23.8%. Apple apologists note, correctly, that the speaker only went on sale February 9 and hence did not have a full quarter of sales in which it can be compared to others.

While the news that Amazon and Google are clear market leaders in the field, the fact that Apple is falling behind Alibaba could be a cause for concern for the tech innovator.

Google and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba appeared on second and third ranks with (26.5 percent market share with 2.4 million sales) and (7.6 percent market share) respectively.

The smart speaker competition is heating up.

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Google shipped 2.4 million speakers in the quarters, from 0.3 million the year before.

So much so that for the first quarter Amazon's market share around the globe has declined by close to half compared to a year ago according to new data from Strategy Analytics, the market research firm. Last month reports surfaced that lackluster demand for the speaker has resulted in Apple reducing orders with at least one manufacturer and lowering its internal forecasts. Market leader Amazon is estimated to have shipped an impressive 4 million smart speakers during the quarter though its global market share has almost halved from the same period past year.

The estimates also show that China's Alibaba also came in ahead of Apple with 700,000 shipments during Q1, while Alibaba managed to flog roughly 200,000 devices. Neither Amazon nor Google are present on the Chinese market, which saw strong growth in the quarter, explaining the decline in their global market shares.

"Today's smart speakers are by no means the finished article but they have captured the consumer imagination and we will see rapid evolution in design, functionality and associated use cases over the coming years". "We are clearly heading toward a time in the not-too-distant future when voice becomes a standard mode of technology interaction alongside established approaches like keyboard, mouse and touchscreen".

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