When Apple’s marketing boss Phil Schiller introduced the company’s new wireless speaker, the HomePod
, on Monday, the emphasis was clearly on the device’s hi-fi capabilities as opposed to its function as a voice-enabled smart home hub. While the focus may shift towards Siri integration by the time the HomePod is released later this year, for now it seems as if Apple will be competing with the like of Sonos and Bose first and with Google and Amazon second.
As our chart illustrates, Sonos is currently the clear leader in wireless audio – at least from the point of view of professional users. In a survey conducted by CE Pro
among leading custom electronics companies in the United States, 76 percent of the respondents named Sonos as one of their three preferred wireless audio brands. In fact, Sonos’ line of multiroom speakers is so sleek and functional that many suggested in the past that the company might be an acquisition target for Apple. With the release of the HomePod, that option seems to be off the table, but it remains to be seen whether Apple can make a dent in Sonos’ dominant lead.