After an okay start, Apple’s HomePod isn’t winning over enough shoppers. That’s the main takeaway from a new report about the company’s smart speaker.
Credit: Tom’s Guide
According to Bloomberg , which cited sources, Apple has cut its sales forecasts and reduced the number of orders it’s requested from its manufacturing partner due to lower-than-expected demand.
Bloomberg’s sources also confirmed that during its first 10 weeks on store shelves, Apple was able to capture 10 percent of smart speaker sales. While that wasn’t great and put it behind Amazon’s Echo and Google Home, things have been getting worse. Three weeks after the HomePod launched, it nabbed only 4 percent of sales. That suggests it had a large share in the first three weeks and very little in the ensuing weeks.
MORE: Sonos One Beats HomePod, Google Home Max and Amazon Echo
Meanwhile, Amazon’s Echo earned 73 percent market share during the same 10-week period, according to data Bloomberg obtained from Slice Intelligence.
Apple’s HomePod hit store shelves earlier this year. In our HomePod review, we praised the overall sound quality of the speaker and its attractive design, but lamented the limitations around Siri and the fact that it works directly only with Apple Music. The $349 price could also be turning some prospective shoppers off.
It probably doesn’t help that the HomePod was found to damage furniture, leaving an unsightly ring. However, competing smart speakers, such as the Sonos One caused the same type of issue.
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. The move at the time was viewed by many industry watchers as an attempt to downplay Siri, which many believe is still behind Alexa.
According to Bloomberg’s sources, Apple has long viewed HomePod as a speaker first and internally viewed the device as an accessory that would work with other Apple products rather than a standalone product. Whether that approach has affected sales is unknown.
Looking ahead, Apple might face considerable difficulty trying to make headway in its fight against Amazon and Google. Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster told Bloomberg that he expects Apple to sell 7 million HomePods in 2018 and 11 million next year. Amazon, however, is on pace to sell 29 million Echos this year and 39 million in 2019, he told Bloomberg. Google could sell 18 million Google Homes in 2018 and 32 million next year.
For its part, Apple hasn’t divulged sales or sales forecasts. But if the company were to address HomePod, it likely would do it next month when it announces its next earnings report.
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