A new survey of more than 2,000 US consumers from Morning Consult finds almost exactly one-third of consumers are either very interested or somewhat interested in Apple’s HomePod. That number jumps to 45 percent for Apple users.
What’s more surprising is that interest is even higher among Echo and Google Home owners — especially those “very interested.” While the absolute numbers are smaller, the intensity of interest is higher among those who currently own the competing devices.
Among Echo owners, 64 percent were interested or very interested, and for Home owners, 73 percent were interested or very interested. This is striking because it argues that these other devices have conditioned the market for Apple’s HomePod.
Seemingly contradicting the findings above, the survey discovered that price was the most important feature to likely buyers. Apple’s device will retail for $349, Echo costs $179 (Dot is currently $40), and Google Home is $129.
According to the survey, the following were the rankings of variables, “among those who said [the] feature was ‘very important’ when considering a voice-controlled assistant”:
- 57% Price
- 51% Speaker/audio quality
- 49% Accuracy of device’s voice recognition
- 44% Compatibility with devices you may already own, such as your smartphone
- 30% Access to a variety or music streaming services
- 29% Ability for device to integrate with other services or platforms, such as controlling smart light bulbs
- 29% Brand that manufactures the device
- 21% Aesthetics or look of the device
The conclusion of the survey is that the Amazon Echo is the best-positioned of the competitors, given demand, Amazon’s brand strength and the Echo and Dot’s relative affordability.
Source: Morning Consult
Third parties have estimated that Amazon has already sold over 11 million Echo and Echo Dot assistants. The Google Home estimates are less reliable but far short of Amazon’s device, partly because it’s newer in the market.
While a survey like this can be directionally predictive of demand, we won’t know how well the HomePod is going to do until it actually comes out and reviewers pass judgment on it. The ranking of audio quality as the second most important consideration behind price suggests the HomePod could sell well, especially among current Echo and Home owners who want a better speaker.
The survey didn’t appear to ask any questions about home assistants as general knowledge or search devices.
Asking who’s going to win in the segment may be missing the larger point that “home assistant” is now established as a separate device category. Millions of these devices will be sitting in kitchens and bedrooms all over North America and eventually the globe.