Apple has just dropped the price of the HomePod smart speaker by $50 in the U.S., and international price cuts were also made. This is probably to compete with the other, more affordable smart speakers on the market, in light of declining sales.

The Competition

Apple only has a 6% market share in the 66 million smart speakers installed in the U.S., according to a study by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. This is pretty small, compared to Amazon Echo’s 70% and Google Home’s 24%.

Amazon and Google offer multiple price points for their smart speakers, with different size options. Apple’s HomePod only comes in one size, and attempts to differentiate itself with its superior sound quality, at the price point.

However, seeing how Apple has cut the prices by about 14%, it seems that they believe that the strategy isn’t working as they hoped.

The Apple Ecosystem

The HomePod is natively only compatible with Apple Music, and has almost no third-party app support. Even access to Apple’s services are limited, and doesn’t allow full access to your iPhone.

Other smart speakers allow third-party apps.

Drawbacks with the HomePod

The HomePod uses Siri as the voice assistant, which isn’t as smart or capable as the Google Assistant, though being the first compelling voice assistant on a smartphone.

The HomePod also only allows connection with Apple devices, and not with any other device. It only works through Wi-Fi.

The HomePod is expensive compared to other smart speakers, and is limited in functionality. The Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers start at $39, and offer all the functionality of the more expensive versions (which are still cheaper than the HomePod), and only compromises on sound.

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Image Source: WSJ