According to the same report by Strategy Analytics, Amazon managed to sell 4 million Echo speakers during the first quarter of 2018, allowing it to enjoy a market share of 43.6 percent. Apple now holds 6 percent of the market share, falling behind Alibaba by a small margin. Apple did have one company lagging behind it: Xiaomi had only 200,000 smart speaker sales in the same quarter-a 2.4% market share.
Even with this caveat, Apple gets a 6% market share, significantly less than Amazon and Google and a little below the Chinese platform Alibaba e-Commerce.
When Apple entered the smart speaker market with the launch of the HomePod at the start of the year, it was no doubt hoping to challenge industry leaders Amazon and Google, but the iPhone maker still has a long way to go.
Strategy Analytics is today out with its latest report covering the smart speaker market during the first quarter of 2018.
Apple, though, has remained tight-lipped about the precise number of HomePods it sold when the product belatedly saw the light of day on 9 February - its silence has been interpreted as a tacit admission that the HomePod is not selling as well as expected. But its shipments doubled from this time a year ago. "Alibaba and Xiaomi are leading the way in China and their strength in the domestic market alone is proving enough to propel them into the global top five", Watkins added.
"This is partly as a result of strong growth in the Chinese market for smart speakers where both Amazon and Google are now absent".
Just after the HomePod launch the company claimed that its pre-orders had sold out, with the United Kingdom proving a particularly popular market for the company.
"We are clearly heading towards a time in the not too distant future when voice becomes a standard mode of technology interaction alongside established approaches like keyboard, mouse and touchscreen", Watkins said.
Looking ahead, Strategy Analytics didn't say whether Apple could stage a stronger performance against Amazon or Google.