Apple’s HomePod smart speaker experienced 45 percent growth in the holiday quarter, according to new figures. Strategy Analytics’ report suggests that Apple sold 1.6 million HomePod speakers over the three month period.

Those numbers still put it firmly behind market leaders like Amazon and Google. Nonetheless, they show that Apple is continuing to benefit from the explosion of interest in smart speakers.

By comparison, Strategy Analytics thinks that Amazon sold 13.7 million Echo devices over the same period. Google, meanwhile, sold 11.5 million. In terms of market share, Amazon has around 35.5 percent of the global market, followed by Google’s 30 percent. In third place, is China’s Alibaba with 7.3 percent, followed by Baidu’s 5.7 percent, and Xiaomi’s 4.6 percent.

Apple holds “just” 4.1 percent of the global smart speaker market. While that’s a big difference between Apple and market leaders Amazon and Google, there are some reasons to explain this.

What’s the difference between me and you?

For one thing, Apple’s HomePod is considerably more expensive. Amazon and Google have their cheap Echo Dot and Google Home Mini devices. These are positioned at a much lower price point than Apple’s $349. While Apple is selling fewer devices, there’s also a good chance that it’s making more money per unit sold than its competitors. If Apple releases an equivalent HomePod, it would be interesting to see what impact that has on Apple’s sales figures.

The openness of Google and Amazon’s platforms probably also makes them more appealing. Apple’s solution is great for Apple Music subscribers. For users of other streaming music services, it is less than ideal. Since Spotify remains the most popular music streaming platform, that probably puts off a lot of customers.

Last but not least, HomePod’s smart speaker Siri lags behind those made by Google and Amazon. Apple is seemingly in the middle of a Siri rethink, so hopefully that gap will close in the near future. Apple is also upping its game on HomeKit devices. This should help to attract users looking for a smart speaker to act as a secure home hub.

Are you a smart speaker owner? Which device do you use? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Strategy Analytics

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