Apple shipped an estimated 600000 HomePods in Q1

Enlarge Image                  Strategy Analytics

Apple was trailing behind in the fourth position and has only sold around 600,000 HomePods during the first quarter in which total shipments of speakers reached 9.2 million units, the research firm found. An Emarketer report from May 2017 found that Amazon dominates the voice-controlled speaker market in the United States at 70.6%, while Google Home captured 23.8%. Meanwhile, Alphabet's (GOOG) Google market share stood at 26.5%, up from 12.4%, while Alibaba (BABA), the Chinese e-commerce leader gained market share of 7.6% in its first year with a device on the market. Perhaps Apple's delay in releasing a smart speaker caused their reduction in sales.

According to a report by a market research firm Strategy Analytics, smart speaker shipment has increased from 2.4 million units in the first quarter of 2017 to 9.2 million units in the first quarter of 2018 with Amazon and Google accounting for almost 70 per cent share in the global smart speaker market shipment during the same time. In particular, Apple has lowered sales forecasts for the HomePod and reduced orders from supplier Inventec.

According to the same report by Strategy Analytics, Amazon managed to sell 4 million Echo speakers during the first quarter of 2018, allowing it to enjoy a market share of 43.6 percent. "Alibaba and Xiaomi are leading the way in China and their strength in the domestic market alone is proving enough to propel them into the global top five".

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"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", he added.

Looking ahead, Strategy Analytics didn't say whether Apple could stage a stronger performance against Amazon or Google. "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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