Apple HomePod Sales Off to Slow Start

Apple HomePod Sales Off to Slow Start

In late January, it accounted for roughly one-third of the smart speaker unit sales in the U.S. Once the HomePod arrived on store shelves, sales started to decline. While Apple's products generally carry quite a bit of buzz, it appears that its latest speaker might not be as popular as it had hoped. However the catching up will take time and at present, Apple has reportedly lowered sales forecasts and cut some orders with Inventec Corp., according to a new report.

Analysts think HomePod's limited functions couldn't compete with the broader features of market leaders Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

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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 same thing can also be said about the HomePod, and perhaps a cheaper variant of the smart speaker that could be dropping in later this year might be a catalyst that Apple desperately requires.

When the HomePod finally shipped, consumers found they couldn't pair two speakers and create stereo sound or play music in multiple rooms. After debuting to mediocre reviews, the smart speaker's proclivities for damaging wood and stumbling on Siri requests became obvious, compelling Apple to work on fixes that are still in progress.

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The data, first reported by Bloomberg, suggest enthusiasm among Apple loyalists and early adopters but a failure to attract a broader audience. And despite its premium £319 price tag, its only taking a 19% share of smart speaker revenue. The Google Home retails for $129 (about Rs 8,500). He says Apple will probably sell 7 million HomePods this year and close to 11 million in 2019.

It's also important to remember that the Apple Watch was also a slow-burner, with a rush of initial sales for the product launch followed by several quarters of middling sales. It leaves open the prospect that Apple's numbers will improve when HomePod's hardware, software, and pricing issues are addressed. It remains to be seen whether these enhancements will spur more sales, although it stands to reason that there are at least some satisfied HomePod users who are looking forward to adding additional devices once the multi-speaker support is available.

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