echo show vs homepod buyBI IntelligenceApple finally jumped into the smart speaker market, but it hasn't inspired the fervor that we’ve come to expect from the iPhone-maker’s new releases, according to exclusive survey data from BI Intelligence. Early indications suggest that the Siri-controlled HomePod won't generate the excitement it needs to overtake competing products — most notably Amazon's newest offering, the Echo Show.

BII_HomePod Sales EstimateBI Intelligence

Apple could sell around 5.2 million HomePods in the product's first year on the market, according to our back-of-the-envelope estimate. That's compared with up to 9 million Echo Shows. Here are the key data points and how we came up with our estimate:

  • Respondents to our survey were more likely to be aware of the HomePod than the Echo Show. Seventy-six percent of respondents had heard of the HomePod, compared with 52% who were aware of Amazon's newest release. 
  • But the HomePod is generating less excitement. A quarter of survey respondents told us that they plan on buying Apple’s smart speaker. And only 5% said that they’d pick up the speaker as soon as they can, when it’s released in December. That's a less enthusiastic response than consumers gave the Echo Show, Amazon's newest smart speaker that features a screen and video-calling capabilities. In our survey, 28% of respondents said they'd pick one up. 
  • Cost is driving away potential HomePod buyers who have cheaper alternatives to choose from. Our respondents are relatively affluent, tech-savvy millennials, and they may have a greater appetite for high-end devices like the HomePod. Among those who don’t plan to purchase the HomePod, the top reason was expense (33%). The HomePod will cost $349, compared with $229 for a touch screen Amazon Echo Show, $179 for an Echo, or $129 for a Google Home. 
  • Unlike Apple's most successful products, the HomePod's features and functionality don't standout in comparison to competing products. Aside from a higher quality speaker, the HomePod has comparable features to the [...]