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According to a recent report, Apple’s recently-released smart speaker has not been as popular as planned. Sales forecasts for the HomePod have been reduced after lackluster sales, with Apple apparently cutting manufacturing orders as inventory piles up at Apple Stores.
It’s not that HomePod has been a critical failure – in fact, reviews for the device have been decidedly positive. Everyone has praised its sound quality, which runs rings around speakers from Amazon and Google, while also praising Apple’s dedication to privacy when compared with its rivals. HomePod has, however, been criticized for its smarts; Siri is lagging behind Alexa and Google Assistant in this department, it seems.
“Though the HomePod delivers market-leading audio quality,” writes Bloomberg, “consumers have discovered it’s heavily dependent on the iPhone and is limited as a digital assistant.”
For whatever reason, HomePod this product isn’t flying off the shelves the way Apple products usually do. The $349 entry price may be a factor – while decent value for a speaker of this size and quality, it’s over three times more than the standard Amazon Echo with which it’s unwittingly competing.
This has led to rumors that Apple may be planning more devices in the HomePod range, covering different sizes and price points. We could well see a smaller version with less impressive audio for around half the price. If sales continue to dwindle we may even see the base model discounted, though Apple tends to stick to its guns on matters like this.
It’s also worth taking this story with a pinch of salt; plenty of news outlets criticized the Apple Watch sales figures on release, but fast forward a couple years and it’s the world’s number one wearable. Don’t write off HomePod just yet.