Google has surpassed Amazon in the smart speaker market. Meanwhile, Apple failed to make it to the list of the biggest players in the said market. Technology market analyst firm Canalys revealed Wednesday that based on its new research data, Google is now the top player in the smart speaker market after beating Amazon by a huge margin. Google recorded a significant jump from 19.3 percent market share in last year's first quarter to having 36.2 percent share in the first quarter of 2018. Amazon, on the other hand, was down from having 79.6 percent share in the January-March period of 2017 to just 27.7 percent in the same period this year.
Apple's HomePod is in trouble. Apple Stores have seen their inventories of the flagship smart speaker gather dust as demand has slowed, according to Bloomberg. The $349 home speaker -- which has Apple's Siri voice assistant built in and is meant to compete with Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo speakers -- has seen such bad sales that Apple has cut orders from its Chinese suppliers, according to Bloomberg. The HomePod, which was released in January, captured only 10 percent of the smart speaker market during its first 10 weeks in stores, according to market research firm Slice Intelligence, while Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo line captured 73 percent and the Google Home speaker took 14 percent. The report cited Apple Store workers who said some locations sell fewer than 10 HomePod speakers a day.
Apple's HomePod has only been available in a handful of countries (mostly North America and Europe) so far, but it's expanding availability in grand fashion. The company is releasing its smart speaker in China, including Hong Kong, on January 18th. There aren't any major changes to the device for its Asian debut, but it'll naturally tap into local playlists and support AirPlay for services beyond Apple Music. The system will sell for HK $2,799 ($357) in Hong Kong and RMB 2,799 ($414) in mainland China. Apple faces an uphill battle in China.