The latest research from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) on the US smart-speaker market is making headlines for its views on Apple’s HomePod – but we think it highlights a bigger trend. “Across the market, consumers migrated to the lowest-priced models,” claims CIRP about the latest market data.

“For the two biggest competitors, Echo Dot accounts for over half of the Amazon Echo installed base, and Home mini is about 40% of the Google Home installed base.” Those speakers both cost just under $50, and the news should come as a reminder to our industry that while music is the most popular thing smart speakers are used for, a big share of the devices in people’s homes aren’t really about audio quality. That said, there is also a hint that the cheaper smart-speakers may be being bought to dot (no pun intended) around the home (again) – CIRP’s latest survey suggests that “about one-third of Echo and Home users own more than one unit” now in the US.

But back to Apple and its HomePod, which CIRP estimates has a 6% share of installed smart-speakers in the US – a figure that other research firms broadly agree with. It suggests that for Apple “at least approaching competitor pricing seems necessary” following the path of its Apple TV gadget. “Only 2% of Apple customers have a HomePod as of the June 2018 quarter,” it pointed out.

EarPods and phone

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Music Ally's Head of Insight

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