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Apple HomePod Struggles Cheap Version Tipped

As Sonos move into the Pro AV market with wall speakers arch rival Apple is struggling to generate interest in their Siri-powered HomePod speakers.

New research reveals that demand for voice activated speakers are booming with Amazon Alexa speakers snaring the lions share of the market in the USA, while in Australia demand for Google Voice activated speakers are proving the most popular.

US consumers bought a record 66 million smart speakers last year — up dramatically from 37 million a year earlier — but Apple nabbed only a 6 percent share of the market, according to a study released overnight.

The report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners found that Amazon’s line of Echo speakers, powered by the Alexa voice assistant, continues to dominate the niche with 70 percent market share. Google had 24 percent share.

In Australia Google has 68% share and Amazon Echo the bulk of the remaining market.

Apple’s Siri-powered HomePod, released last February, clawed its single-digit percentage mainly at the expense of Google, whose share had been 31 percent the previous year, versus Amazon’s 69 percent, according to CIRP.

“[Apple] likely won’t gain significant share until it offers an entry-level product closer to the Echo Dot and Home mini,” CIRP co-founder Josh Lowitz said.

Apple has recently recognized the chasm in popularity between the HomePod and its competitors. In January, it announced that it would make Apple Music available on Alexa devices, after keeping the music service confined to the HomePod for a year.

Apple’s smart assistant, Siri, is also entering a period of uncertainty. Bill Stasior, the executive who had led the Siri team since 2012, recently stepped down from his role.

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