12.04.18

HomePod’s early sales aren’t as Apple would hope

apple homepod with text

It was always going to be tough entering a marketplace where Amazon and to some degree, Google, has already established itself as the market leader, but the first sales results are for the Apple HomePod – and they aren’t great.

A report from Bloomberg suggest Apple's “smart” speaker isn’t quite hitting the heady heights Tim Cook would like – and stocks are piling up.

It may be the richest company in the world on the back of huge success in the phone and personal computing world, but competing with the advanced AI platforms Alexa and Google Assistant have grown to become and their sheer range of products they have released to date isn’t going well for Apple. The first quarter readings are not in line with the manufacturer’s projections according the sources close to suppliers for some of its components, Apple Store workers and industry analysts say Bloomberg – with some employees saying their only selling 10 HomePods per day at their Apple Store.

Those on the inside have reportedly admitted that its high cost (compared to other options), later-than-scheduled release after the holidays and the limitations of Siri could be to blame for its slow sales.

Since its release earlier this year the HomePod has been hit by not only lukewarm reviews of its functionality (despite its decent audio performance) when it comes to app support and connectivity options. Then of course, there was also the rather damaging news that HomePod can damage the surface it’s placed on if positioned on wood.

Data from Slice Intelligence suggests Apple accounts for only 10% of sales among the main smart speaker providers, with Amazon apparently dominating with 73% of market share.

You can expect Apple won’t take this lightly, the company is about to rollout an extensive software update (adding multiroom audio and speaking pairing, among other features) ant its huge AI push means improvements to Siri are very likely on the horizon. Regardless, one only look at the price of the most sold smart speakers (in some cases 1/7 of the price of the Apple HomePod) to see why Apple hasn’t got away with just being ‘Apple’ in this instance.