Mark Twain said it best. “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Apple decided a couple of years ago to forego fact for fiction. Instead of revealing how many Macs, iPhones, and iPads it sold each quarter, Apple now divulges only revenue for each category and certified Apple watchers and critics are left on their own to figure out how many of each the company sold.
That makes such statistics members of the lies, damned lies, and statistics category. One of the premier guesstimators of such numbers is Strategy Analytics, and depending upon how you slice, dice, and Julienne their guesses, Apple’s HomePod is, 1) an abject failure, or, 2) a surprise hit.
How can HomePod be both?
Dennis Sellers on SA’s so-called
Global sales of smart speakers continued to soar in the second quarter (Q2) of 2019, reaching 30.3 million units, nearly double the same period in 2018
Now, there isn’t really a definition of what constitutes a smart speaker, and even if we define it simply as a speaker than listens for commands and responds with various actions to match, does that not make each of the world’s 1-billion iPhones a smart speaker?
Regardless, according to numbers dreamed up by the guessers, Amazon’s Echo was #1 with 6.6-million units shipped and total market share of almost 22-percent. Google was #2 (pun intended) with 5.6-million units shipped and just over 18-percent of marketshare.
Remember, marketshare is the least important of the major business metrics– profits tops them all, followed by gross margin and revenue and a few others– but it’s a guess anyway.
Between Google at #2 and Apple’s HomePod at #6 are a few Chinese makers of insignificance because you never read about their products. Perhaps they only speak Chinese.
Apple’s HomePod comes it at #6 on the marketshare list at almost 5-percent and 1.4-million units shipped. Poor Apple. HomePod must be such a disappoint among the company’s well heeled and well to do executives.
If we look at the lies, damned lies, and statistics a slightly different way, then we get a slightly different picture. HomePod was priced at $350 or about fives times the average Amazon Alexa or Google home device.
In terms of revenue, that means HomePod is on similar footing to Amazon Echo. 1.4-million HomePods at $350 each is $490-million in quarterly revenue. 6.6-million Amazon Echos at $50 is $330-million. 5.6-million Google Home is only $280-million.
We can quibble about the average selling price but the numbers are clear. HomePod is not a failure.