Across all intending smart speaker buyers, the HomePod was equal-third in the rankings …
The Amazon Echo was the clear favorite overall, with 17% of people saying this was the best for them. Amazon’s Dot was next, at 12%, just one point ahead of equal-placed HomePod and Google Home.
It’s no surprise that price was named as the most important factor in choosing a smart speaker, but brand was the second biggest consideration. Interestingly, only 14% said that accuracy of speech recognition was a key factor, suggesting that Apple may be taking the right approach in positioning the HomePod as a speaker first and a Siri device second.
The headline figures were higher, 45% of Apple owners and 41% of the population as a whole stating that they are ‘interested’ in buying a HomePod – but these are not the numbers to watch. It’s easy to say you’re interested in buying something, much harder to lay out the actual cash. The rule of thumb is that only those who say they are very interested in buying something are considered real prospects.
All the same, almost a fifth of Apple owners expressing definite interest in the product is encouraging news for Apple. Amazon announced back in February that it had sold 8.2M Echo speakers, and while the HomePod will cost almost exactly twice the price ($349 versus $179), it is selling into a premium market.
Tim Cook said in an interview published yesterday that he wasn’t concerned about the price differential.
If you remember when the iPod was introduced, a lot of people said, “Why would anybody pay $399 for an MP3 player?” And when iPhone was announced, it was, “Is anybody gonna pay”—whatever it was at that time—“for an iPhone?” The iPad went through the same thing. We have a pretty good track record of giving people something that they may not have known that they wanted.
The HomePod will go on sale in December.
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