Since the release of Apple’s HomePod smart speaker in January, the sales have been on a tremendous shrinking trend. This is quite different from high anticipation that the smart speaker would win a large portion of the market, speculating from its initial sales record and pre-orders. A recent forecast from its lowered sales late March has already forced Apple to reduce its orders with the manufacturer.
Although highly publicized as a revolutionary sound piece, Apple HomePod sales have been overshadowed by Amazon’s Echo lineup of Alexa-powered devices, leading to further lowered sales forecast and reduction of orders with Inventec Corp; one of the manufacturers for Apple, according to Bloomberg.
Apple’s inability to maintain HomePod sales momentum might have to do with the fact that the speaker is very much dependent on iOS-powered devices, coupled with its limited digital assistant. This results in consumers’ dissatisfaction, according to the report, which also claims that some of the product retailers are now selling fewer than 10 HomePods daily.
The HomePod may be offering a superior audio quality, but consumers are insatiable with some missing features, like stereo pairing – to pair two HomePods together, and AirPlay 2 support for controlling the speaker from multiple rooms.
Smart Speakers Market Share
Within the first 10 weeks of sales, the HomePod was thought to be doing well and was going to be a hit when it won 10% of the smart speaker market, against Amazon Echo with 73% share and Google’s Home with just 14%. But the sales started slipping and fell down to 4% on weekly sales after 3 weeks.
Analysts believed that HomePod sales would have at least been doubled if Apple had gone ahead with the December launch when smart speakers were in high demand. Apple was also said to have missed the holiday sales when most families are in more need of such devices.
Also, the price of $349 for the Apple HomePod makes it the most expensive smart speaker compared to competing for smart speakers from Amazon and other companies, which has additional features and starting at $200. Apple’s HomePodlacks some of the features available on Echo and Google Home, like responding to questions, ordering pizza and much more. It is rather limited to playing tunes from Apple Music, controlling a limited number of iOS-based smart home devices and sending messages through an iPhone, which is slightly disappointing.
Apple Optimistic about HomePod
The HomePod may be experiencing poor sales at the moment but Apple doesn’t seem to be worried as such and isn’t likely planning to give up on the product despite its shrinking sales. This is because HomePod is part of an audio accessory lineup that includes the rumored high-end over-ear headphones and AirPods.
Apple is, however, bent on rectifying every one of the consumers’ complaints and even looking to remodel the device with new materials due to complaints that it leaves marks on wood. Apple has been known as a company that appreciates user experience, revenues over sales points and has been known to handle complaints quite well; hence, consumers would always get a positive feedback.
A long-time Apple watcher, Gene Munster is predicting that HomePod sales could become steady within the year and increase by the holiday. Munster proposes 7 million HomePod sales in 2018 and around 10.5 million sales in 2019.