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Apple Is Extending Its Smart Speaker Reach



HomePod’s international rollout continues

Apple (AAPL) is gearing up to launch its HomePod smart speaker device in China early next year, according to a Bloomberg report citing a company announcement. Introducing the HomePod in China will see Apple extend the international reach of its product and enlarge its revenue potential as well.

China is set to join Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, and Spain as another international market for the HomePod.

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Getting a head start on Amazon and Google in China

Apple’s HomePod device first went on sale in February, several years after Amazon (AMZN) and Google (GOOGL) entered the smart speaker market. Amazon started selling its Echo line of smart speakers in 2014, while Google introduced its Home smart speaker device in 2016.

But the planned Chinese launch could give Apple a head start on both Amazon and Google in the smart speaker market in the world’s most populous country and its second-largest economy. Amazon and Google currently don’t sell their smart speakers in China.

Apple trails in terms of global market share

Although Apple is poised to gain a head start on Amazon and Google in China’s smart speaker market, it still has a long way to go to catch up to these rivals on the global stage. Apple captured just 4.8% of the global smart speaker market in the third quarter compared to 31.6% for Amazon and 22.7% for Google, according to data from Strategy Analytics.

Alibaba (BABA) and Baidu (BIDU) captured 9.8% and 8.4% of the global smart speaker market, respectively, in the third quarter.


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