Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Apple's HomePod isn't selling - stocks are piling up

Apple's HomePod isn't selling - stocks are piling up

Not every product Apple rolls out is a big victor. If this report's numbers can be believed, Apple's physical stores alone would be on track to sell almost two million HomePods in 2018 before considering online and third-party retail sales - a trickle compared with other Apple products.

Bloomberg's reporter Gurman reports that "At first, it looked like the HomePod might be a hit". 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.

Although initial sales were "demonstrably good", orders for the HomePod "tanked" when the device arrived in shops the following month, the news site says. "Even when people had the ability to hear these things", he says, 'it still didn't give Apple another spike'. Three weeks after the HomePod launched, it nabbed only 4 percent of sales. At Apple Stores throughout the country, the HomePod is collecting dust with some locations selling fewer than 10 units a day. According to the report, Apple is "now working to rectify [that issue] with a new material", though it's unclear whether the company will fix existing units or just quietly introduce the improvement into later production runs. But the small, wireless speaker is not that product. After debuting to mediocre reviews, the smart speaker's proclivities for damaging wood and stumbling on Siri requests became obvious, compelling Apple to work on fixes that are still in progress. So data of any kind at this early stage of the game is really hard to take too seriously. Apple has said these functions will be available this year, and the latest iPhone software update in beta with app developers suggests they are in advanced testing.

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For its part, Apple hasn't divulged sales or sales forecasts. Google Home and Sonos Ones garnered 8% and 5% of revenues, respectively.

The report cites revised analyst predictions of seven million HomePod sales this year, roughly one-fourth Amazon's Echo sales and less than a half of Google Home sales. He says Apple will probably sell 7 million HomePods this year and close to 11 million in 2019. Alphabet, he estimates, will move 18 million Google Homes in 2018 and about 32 million the following year. Further improvements to digital assistant Siri could also help boost future HomePod sales. The New York Times has stated that "Apple has hired Google's chief of search and artificial intelligence, John Giannandrea, a major coup in its bid to catch up to the artificial intelligence technology of its rivals".

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