Apple’s HomePod sales rose 45% in the fourth quarter, but….

Apple’s HomePod sales rose 45% in the fourth quarter, but its market share fell back to 4.1%, according to Strategy Analytics. The firm’s latest research shows that quarter four (Q4) shipments grew 95% to 38.5 million units. 

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This was more than the entire 2017 total and brought the 2018 tally to 86.2 million units. Amazon and Google enjoyed a particularly strong quarter thanks to the popularity of their low-cost Echo Dot and Home Mini speakers and both companies recorded quarter-on-quarter increases in market share. Some pundits expect Apple to release a lower priced HomePod to compete with its competitors.

“Smart speakers and smart displays were once again the most sought-after tech products this past holiday season and we estimate that more than 60 million households worldwide now own at least one device,” says David Watkins, director at Strategy Analytics. “Smart displays such as Google’s Home Hub, Amazon’s Echo Show and Baidu’s Xiaodu Zaijia are proving popular with consumers who are attracted by the combination of audio and visual stimulus and the wider range of use cases compared to speaker only devices. Smart displays made up more than 10% of total shipment demand in Q4 2018 and they are expected to be a significant driver of growth in the market through 2019.”