Smart speaker shipments slowed in the U.S. during the second quarter (2Q21), with year-on-year (YoY) of just 16%, while quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) shipments declined by 27%, according to the latest Smart Speakers Market Tracker report from Omdia. But there’s good news for Apple.
Since 4Q20, Apple’s smart speakers have increased by triple digits each quarter in the U.S., and 2Q21 was no different, according to Omdia. The research group estimates the HomePod and HomePod mini both outsold all other models of smart speakers in the U.S. during 2Q21. The Google Mini was ranked third overall, with about 777,000 shipments, followed by the Echo Dot 3rd Generation with 730,000 shipments in the US.
Omdia says Apple’s smart speakers have continued to grow at historic rates. In fact, Apple’s market share of U.S. smart speakers has increased from 9.6% in the first half of 2020 to 21% in the first half of 2021. That’s a YoY shipment increase of about 245%.
Omedia says the discontinuation of the original HomePod may have contributed to the spike in growth, as Apple enthusiasts rushed to buy the remaining stock.
Nonetheless, the research group says the new smart home application layer, Matter, takes shape, Apple will likely benefit the most of the three major U.S. brands, which includes Apple, Google and Amazon.
“However, to maintain the momentum, Apple will need to release another speaker: a portable speaker or speaker with a display, for example, could push Apple to new levels,” says Omedia.
With Apple’s success, what’s up with the smart speaker sales slowdown? The research group Most of the slowdown can be attributed to the Amazon Alexa platform (including own branded and 3rd party branded speakers), which saw a decline of 31% QoQ for smart speaker shipments in the U.S. In fact, Google’s smart speakers claimed the number one spot, beating out Amazon during the quarter by about 800,000 shipments.
But despite a slow quarter for Amazon, the first half of 2021 still belongs to the Alexa platform, according to Omedia. It was estimated to have a share 42%, giving the brand a slight advantage over Google (37% share) and Apple (21% share).