The HomePod went on sale earlier this year, the company’s first smart speaker with a price tag set at $349.
Now, Bloomberg reports that the company’s sales expectations have not been met, and, as a result, has decided to “cut orders” from the manufacturer. According to the report, Apple actually lowered its own sales forecasts in late March for the HomePod, and dropped orders from Inventec. The report also adds that stock of the HomePod is “piling up” in some Apple retail stores.
“When Apple Inc.’s HomePod smart speaker went on sale in January, it entered a market pioneered and dominated by Amazon’s Echo lineup of Alexa-powered devices. Apple, which has arrived late before only to overtake rivals by building better products, has been touting the HomePod’s superior sound quality. It’s demonstrably good, but so far hasn’t enticed many consumers to part with $349.
By late March, Apple had lowered sales forecasts and cut some orders with Inventec Corp., one of the manufacturers that builds the HomePod for Apple, according to a person familiar with the matter.”
Interestingly enough, there have been rumors that Apple is already planning on expanding the HomePod family, starting with a less expensive option for its smart speaker lineup. Based on the initial rumors, the new device could cost between $150 and $200.
It’s interesting to hear this, but not at all surprising. Apple went out of its way to sell the HomePod as a speaker first, with a focus on sound quality, rather than a speaker with any kind of real smarts with Siri baked in. And while the price tag might play a role, it can’t be ignored that Apple missed its initial goal of the holiday shopping season in 2017, but missed it and launched the HomePod a couple months later in February.
Did you buy a HomePod?