A couple months ago, Apple launched a $350 smart speaker with Siri that doesn’t work with most non-Apple music services. Unsurprisingly, it’s not exactly flying off the shelves.
At least, that’s the story according to Bloomberg. Using data from Slice Intelligence, Apple captured about 10% of overall smart speaker sales during its first ten weeks on the market. That’s compared to 73% for the Echo and 14% for Google Home. However, that number may be due to a large burst of sales on launch day. As of its third week on the market, Apple was already down to 4% of overall smart speaker sales for that week. In other words, it made a decent splash when it first came out, but couldn’t hold on to even moderate sales for long. Google and Amazon aren’t feeling too worried.
Despite having fewer sales, Apple still made a decent chunk of change, briefly capturing 72% of the revenue in the smart speaker category, before falling down to 19% after the initial sales burst. The HomePod costs $350 and has a nice cushy profit margin, especially when compared to the more popular Echo Dot and Google Home Mini (both $50 normally), so it makes sense that Apple would make bank on the units they did sell.
It’s worth pointing out that Slice gets its numbers from analyzing customer data, not direct sales numbers from Apple. So it’s possible these numbers are off a bit. However, the overall picture still isn’t very rosy: very few people seem to be buying HomePods instead of an Amazon Echo or Google Home. That’s not a big deal if you want a very fancy speaker with great audio, but if you were hoping that developers were going to rush to the HomePod to add new smart home skills, you might be waiting a while. A big userbase is what draws developers to a platform and right now the HomePod doesn’t have one.