Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Apple's HomePod Is Dead

By Evan Niu, CFA - Mar 17, 2021 at 8:30AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Long live the HomePod Mini.

After struggling for years to gain meaningful traction in the booming smart speaker market, Apple has officially decided to throw in the towel with the original HomePod. Launched in early 2018 at a lofty $350 price point, the HomePod never commanded strong sales for a variety of reasons.

In addition to being priced at a massive premium compared to popular devices from and Alphabet (GOOG 1.66%) (GOOGL 1.77%) subsidiary Google, Apple's virtual assistant Siri is widely considered to be inferior, and the Mac maker has long resisted supporting third-party music-streaming services like Spotify, the most popular music-streaming service on the planet. (Apple is working to add support for other services, likely in part due to antitrust criticisms.)

A man and two children in a kitchen, with a HomePod Mini on the counter

The HomePod Mini is selling much better than its larger sibling. Image source: Apple.

It's all about HomePod Mini now

Apple's market share in the smart speaker market languished, reaching a mere 4.7% by the end of 2019, according to Strategy Analytics. The more affordable HomePod Mini that was released last year at the $99 price point is far more competitive with Amazon's Echo and Google's Nest Audio.

The HomePod Mini helped bolster Apple's position, as the Cupertino tech giant's share was able to hit a new high of 7.8% in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to Strategy Analytics. Global smart speaker sales hit record levels of over 150 million units last year, despite the challenging macroeconomic environment related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As one might expect, Amazon and Google maintained their dominant positions in the smart speaker and smart display market, as those tech companies have been continuously expanding their product portfolios. Both companies refreshed their lineups last fall.


Q4 2020 Units

Q4 2020 Market Share

Amazon (AMZN 4.11%)

16.5 million



13.2 million



6.6 million



6.3 million


Apple (AAPL 2.54%)

4.6 million



3.8 million



7.3 million



58.2 million


Data source: Strategy Analytics.

"HomePod mini has been a hit since its debut last fall, offering customers amazing sound, an intelligent assistant, and smart home control all for just $99," Apple said in a statement provided to various media outlets. "We are focusing our efforts on HomePod mini."

It's about time that Apple killed off the beleaguered HomePod. Even the price cut to $300 in 2019 failed to stimulate sales, as the company's emphasis on high-fidelity audio only appealed to a niche audiophile segment of the market. Most average consumers would prefer a more affordable product, and the HomePod Mini is far better positioned to address the mainstream.

The smaller speaker is already off to a strong start. Can Apple maintain the momentum?

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
$149.24 (2.54%) $3.70
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$2,329.46 (1.77%) $40.56, Inc. Stock Quote, Inc.
$2,307.37 (4.11%) $91.16
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$2,334.03 (1.66%) $38.18

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/18/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.