Apple Lowers HomePod Forecasts and Cuts Orders Following Lackluster Sales

Doris Richards
April 12, 2018

Apple's first smart speaker business is not going as the company has planned.

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the company is selling less than 10 units of the product in some of its stores per day with inventories rapidly piling up in most locations. While that wasn't great and put it behind Amazon's Echo and Google Home, things have been getting worse. The first gen Apple Watch, for example, wasn't too much of a big hit - but future iterations of the product helped Apple Watch become the leading product in the smartwatch market.

By late March, Apple had lowered sales forecasts and cut some orders with Inventec Corp., one of the manufacturers that builds the HomePod for Apple, according to a person familiar with the matter. It's demonstrably good, but so far hasn't enticed many consumers to part with $349 (roughly Rs. 22,800). That's not all - Apple's HomePod is one of the most limited smart speakers in the market, and it's essentially locked into the Apple ecosystem.

Three weeks after the launch, weekly HomePod sales slipped to about 4 percent of the smart speaker category on average, the market research firm says.

The smart speaker is more expensive than its rivals but has fewer functions.

After an okay start, Apple's HomePod isn't winning over enough shoppers. Instead the HomePod is mostly limited to playing tunes from Apple Music, controlling a limited number of Apple-optimized smart home appliances and sending messages through an iPhone.

To be fair, Apple pitched the device not necessarily as a competitor to Amazon's Echo, but rather as a high-end speaker that also delivered Siri integration.

Not helping matters: Apple meant to launch HomePod before Christmas, when it would have made a natural choice for gifts. Amazon, however, is on pace to sell 29 million Echos this year and 39 million in 2019, he told Bloomberg. Alphabet is expected to sell 18 million Google Home devices this year and 32 million next year.

Formally unveiled back in June 2017, but made available to early adopters just a couple of months ago, the Siri-controlled smart speaker appeared to generate the typical initial excitement around any new iDevice.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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