Strategy Analytics says Apple will sell 3.8 million HomePods this year, garnering less than 10% market share. The wireless speaker is available for pre-order Friday, Jan. 26, and is slated to arrive on Feb. 9.
The $349 system is just under seven inches tall and looks like a piece of furniture. It will be available in both space gray and white. The HomePod also acts as a hub for HomeKit devices to provide remote access to home automation. It will use Siri to browse and select music from Apple Music, control the home through HomeKit, and answer questions.
Strategy Analytics says its consumer research findings suggest that Apple will find it very difficult to persuade existing Amazon Echo or Google Home users to switch to Apple’s Siri-powered HomePod. Owners of these devices are much more likely to buy a secondary product from the same company, according to the research group.
“Amazon and Google are rapidly building their presence in the home thanks to their collaborative and open-source approach. Apple risks either missing out completely on the lucrative connected home market or at best becoming a niche player unless it urgently refocuses investment on improving its AI assistant capabilities and significantly broadens its HomeKit ecosystem,” says David Watkins, director of the new Smart Speaker service at Strategy Analytics.
The Sellers Research Group (that’s me) says Strategy Analytics is wrong. I’m expecting sales of 4.5 million HomePods in 2018.