Apple's HomePod Mini is Bad News for Alexa and Google Home

Ariel Ariel
1 minute read 10/15/21

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps #83 - Will the HomePod Kill Christmas for Google and Amazon (Again)?. Check out the full article for more insights.

I use app downloads as a proxy for retail sales somewhat often because some devices must be operated via app. An area where that's very useful is voice assistants, a market dominated by Google and Amazon.

Well, that's changing.

The holiday season is the biggest, by far, for Google Home and Alexa, and in previous years there has been consistent year over year growth. In getting ready to forecast this season, I noticed the trend stopped in 2020. But not across the board.

Downloads of both the Google Home app and Alexa app during the month of December have grown consistently since 2017. The pair grew 42% in 2018 and 20% in 2019. That slowed down in 2020 with a decrease of 11%.

Are we all done telling devices to set timers and turn off our lights?

Not so fast. When we split the data by platform, the App Store vs. Google Play, the trends diverge considerably. Growth on Google Play actually continued just as previous years indicated, 13% to be specific. It's downloads from iPhones that dropped by nearly a half in 2020.

Apple's HomePod mini was released in November of 2020, and at a price point that's much more reasonable than its older sibling, it's not difficult to see why it would capture so much attention from iPhone holders. Between the allure of an Apple device, its sleek look, and the claims of privacy Apple makes, I'm surprised Amazon and Google only saw a 50% decrease.

This year they'd likely learn and be more aggressive in pushing their devices, so I expect early discounts. Regardless, Apple now has a horse in this race, and the impact is very clear.

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The insights in this report come right out of our App Intelligence platform, which offers access to download and revenue estimates, installed SDKs, and more! Learn more about the tools or schedule a demo with our team to get started.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.

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