Apple Struggles to Sell the HomePod

No Echo here: Apple reportedly cut orders for its HomePod smart speaker last month

Apple cuts orders of HomePod on weak demand

KitGuru Says: Chances are, Apple will improve the HomePod over time with software updates, but for now it seems to be struggling to compete. When the HomePod first went on sale, it grabbed 72% of the revenue in the smart speaker market, but the share of revenue dipped to 19% in February and March, according to analyst firm Slice Intelligence. The company is now lowering the HomePod sales forecast and cutting the orders for the device on the back of weak demand. For starters, the HomePod - with its $349 sticker price - is far more expensive than both the Amazon Echo and Google Home. That's not all - Apple's HomePod is one of the most limited smart speakers in the market, and it's essentially locked into the Apple ecosystem.

Tech Radar reports that with some stores selling as few as ten HomePods a day, stocks of the device are "piling up", prompting Apple to slash its orders with Taiwanese manufacturer Investec.

During the HomePod's first 10 weeks of sales, it eked out 10% of the smart speaker market, compared with 73% for Amazon's Echo devices and 14% for the Google Home, according to Slice Intelligence. 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. Some HomePod buyers also complained that the device leaves marks on wood, a situation Apple is now working to rectify with a new material, according to people familiar with the work.

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It's still early days for HomePod - but there's no doubt that it's facing some problems.

Apple has not commented on the report. Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster expects sales of 7 million units this year and 11 million next year; although, that's significantly less than his expectations for Amazon and Google.

Not helping matters is that the HomePod - due to ongoing delays - wasn't available for purchase during last year's holiday shopping season where smart speakers proved to be incredibly popular with consumers. Google could sell 18 million Google Homes in 2018 and 32 million next year.

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