Apple's HomePod isn't flying off the shelves

Apple's HomePod isn't flying off the shelves

The Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker has reduced the orders it placed with Inventec, one of the smart speaker's manufacturers and has been lowering its internal sales forecasts, according to a Bloomberg report, citing people familiar with the matter.

According to Bloomberg, the £319 device hasn't been as popular as the tech giant had expected, despite grabbing a third of the smart speaker market when pre-orders opened at the end of January. Some stores have reportedly sold less than 10 HomePods a day, and the HomePod is now selling for $349, making it the most expensive smart speaker now on the market. Meanwhile, Amazon's Echo family has maintained a 73 percent share, with Google's Home series in distant second place at 14 percent. But after three weeks, the numbers had normalized, with Apple's weekly sales falling to just four percent market share. "Even when people had the ability to hear these things, it still didn't give Apple another spike", Ken Cassar, Slice principal analyst was quoted as saying in the Bloomberg article. For starters, the HomePod - with its $349 sticker price - is far more expensive than both the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

"Gene Munster, a co-founder of Loup Ventures and a long-time Apple watcher, expects HomePod sales to pick up in the holiday shopping season".

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Adding some as-yet-undefined feature (beyond better sound) that helps differentiate HomePod. He says Apple will probably sell 7 million HomePods this year and close to 11 million in 2019.

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.

It's still too early to label the HomePod a total flop. The China Times alludes to a new HomePod revision that is substantially cheaper than the current $349 entry price, presumably bringing Apple's smart speaker range into more direct competition with the budget offerings from Google and Amazon.

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