Market research reveals that Apple falls behind Amazon in terms of smart speaker sales by a huge margin, despite a dip in the retail giant’s expected sales.
According to market research company eMarketer, Amazon continues to take the lead in the U.S. smart speaker market. The retail giant is expected to sell fewer Echo units this year, but despite the dip, it will still continue to outperform other rivals in the market including Apple’s HomePod.
eMarketer expects that out of all smart speaker users in the U.S., about 69.7 percent use an Amazon Echo. This is slightly lower compared to the 72.9 percent of all smart speaker users who had an Echo device last year.
This year’s number might be lower compared to last year’s record, but it still is substantially higher than the number of non-Echo users in the U.S. combined. Only about 31.7 percent of U.S. homes are expected to use a Google-branded smart speaker. The remaining 18.4 percent of smart speaker users are expected to use offerings from other brands such as Apple, Harman Kardon, Sonos, and more.
“Since Amazon first introduced the Echo, it has built a convincing lead in the US and continues to beat back challenges from top competitors,” Victoria Petrock, a principal analyst at eMarketer, said in the report.
“We had previously expected Google and Apple to make more inroads in this market, but Amazon has remained aggressive. By offering affordable devices and building out the number of Alexa skills, the company has maintained Echo’s appeal,” Petrock added.
The research company believes that the trend will continue until 2021. By then, an estimated 68.2 percent of homes in the U.S. can still be expected to use Amazon’s Echo speakers. On the other hand, the number of homes using non-Amazon speakers will increase: those using Google-branded speakers will slightly increase to 32 percent, and those using speakers from other brands rise to 18.8 percent.
The report did not provide estimates regarding the number of U.S. homes using Apple’s HomePod. Research data presented by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) about the same time last year (via Apple Insider), however, reveals that only 6 percent of all smart speaker users have a HomePod as of December 2018. It’s unclear if the number has increased since then.