Echo vs HomePod: Amazon shipped six times more speakers than Apple in Q1

Amazon and Google are estimated to have shipped (note: not sold) 4 million and 2.4 million smart speakers respectively during the first quarter of this year, according to the latest quarterly research from Strategy Analytics.

That’s considerably more than Apple, who according to the findings shipped only 600,000 HomePods. The report states that Apple is the fourth largest smart speaker brand, with Amazon the market leader and Google and Chinese brand Alibaba taking second and third spots.

MORE: 31 Apple HomePod tips, tricks and features

The report supports the rumours that HomePod hasn’t sold as well as Apple had hoped, which was also implied by the tech giant’s near-silence on the HomePod front during its Q2 financial results announcement.

Despite positive reviews – including our five-star one – any shortcomings in sales could be down to the HomePod’s price tag, which at £319 is considerably heavier than those attached to the likes of Google’s Home (£130), Amazon’s Echo 2 (£90) and Echo Plus (£140). Apple reportedly plans to launch a smaller, cheaper HomePod, which would no doubt help its case.

However, it is worth noting here that with the long delay of the HomePod, it only hit shelves on 9th February, giving it a shorter shipment and sales window than its rivals.

Perhaps not surprisingly due to increasing number of brands entering the smart speaker sphere, Amazon’s global market share has nearly halved from the same period last year, according to the report.

Strategy Analytics director David Watkins said: “Amazon and Google accounted for a dominant 70% share of global smart speaker shipments in Q1 2018 although their combined share has fallen from 84% in Q4 2017 and 94% in the year ago quarter. This is partly as a result of strong growth in the Chinese market for smart speakers where both Amazon and Google are currently absent. Alibaba and Xiaomi are leading the way in China and their strength in the domestic market alone is proving enough to propel them into the global top five.”


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10+ years in the hi-fi industry, she has reviewed all manner of audio gear, from budget amplifiers to high-end speakers, and particularly specialises in headphones and head-fi devices. In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.