Apple reportedly ships 600k HomePods during Q1 as Amazon faces increasing competition

Amazon remains in control of the global smart speaker market but watch out for Google

Google captured the second spot after Amazon and it managed to ship 2.4 million units.

David Watkins, the Director at Strategy Analytics highlighted that Amazon and Google accounted for almost 70% 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.

Global smart speaker shipments grew 278pc in Q1 of this year versus last year's first quarter, demonstrating people's increasing comfort with digital assistants in the home.

That figure puts Apple in fourth place on the list of global smart speaker vendors. Amazon had a 43.6 percent market share, down from 81.8 percent in Q1 2017. Since Amazon had a head start of almost 2 years, the company was leading in sales and market share tremendously, and that continues today. Alibaba, which didn't sell any smart speakers in the first quarter of 2017, was able to capture 7.6 percent market share.

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So much so that for the first quarter Amazon's market share around the globe has declined by close to half compared to a year ago according to new data from Strategy Analytics, the market research firm.

But despite Apple's ho-hummer of a smart speaker launch, which is largely attributed to the high price, lacklustre speech recognition and dustbin-like aesthetics, Strategy Analytics vice president David Mercer suggested that the strong growth in the market over the past year "confirms our view that this new market is far more than just a flash in the pan". Shipments for the others went from 0 to 0.7 million for Alibaba, 0.6 million for Apple and 0.2 million for Xiaomi.

"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", Watkins was quoted as saying.

It should be noted that the HomePod was not sold until February 9, so Apple was not a full quarter. A cheaper and smaller version may be on the way, which may compete better with standard Amazon and Google smart speakers.

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