iPhone owners just love smart speakers

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Smart Speakers
Apple fans are leading the adoption of smart speakers.
Photo: Apple

Smart speaker sales have exploded, with 47 million Americans now using one, up from about zero two years ago. And Apple fans are leading the trend — they’re 22 percent more likely than Android users to own a smart speaker.

These are the findings of voicebot.ai, which performed its study of U.S. consumers in January. At that time, iPhone owners showed the strongest preference for Amazon’s Echo, vastly preferring it over Google’s offering. This survey took place just before the debut of the HomePod, however.

Those who purchase Apple’s smart speaker might not put their old one away. “Apple and Amazon may be the focus of multi-manufacturer households where HomePod is a luxury item for music listening in living spaces while Echo products get placed in the kitchen and bedrooms for utilitarian tasks,” voicebot.ai’s study said.

How iPhone owners use smart speakers

Smart Speakers
iPhone users don’t just buy smart speakers. They use them.
Photo: voicebot.ai

Beyond just getting one of these voice-activated devices, iPhone fans are more likely to use them. The study shows they are 8.5 percent more likely to have made a purchase with their smart speaker.

Where do all these smart speakers wind up? Owners place these gadgets in the living room (45.9 percent), the kitchen (41.4 percent) and the the bedroom (36.8 percent). That totals above 100 percent because about a third of all users own more than one smart speaker. Men are the biggest adopters, at roughly 60 percent.

Support for a cheaper HomePod

The heavy interest iPhone users have in smart speakers suggests Apple should release the rumored HomePod version that’s under $200. As it is, the current $349 model is simply out of the reach of most consumers, no matter how much people love them.

(Note: There’s currently a smoking-hot deal on new HomePods on eBay.)

Beyond just increasing sales from Apple’s music service, a more affordable HomePod would likely increase adoption of the company’s HomeKit smart home products. The smart speaker acts as a HomeKit hub, enabling remote operation of devices.