05 April 2019
Apple released its HomePod smart speaker earlier this year by touting the sound quality of the same. But perhaps this couldn’t entice many customers and the market which is dominated by Amazon’s Echo lineup of Alexa-powered devices.
Apple entered late to this market with a firm belief that the sound quality of its speaker will definitely attract the users. But, by March, HomePod started gaining some of the insights on its poor sales. According to a report from Barclays, it was stated that HomePod sales are underwhelming.
Now, according to Apple store workers, the HomePod inventory is piling up and they also say that some locations are selling fewer than 10 HomePods a day. Clearly, HomePod isn’t a hot seller. But, the pre-orders were strong and in the last week of January, the device grabbed about a third of the US smart speaker market in unit sales, this goes in accordance with a data provided to Bloomberg by Slice Intelligence.
But, by the time HomePod units arrived in the stores, the sales started struggling, says Slice principal analyst Ken Cassar. Also, during the opening pre-order weekend, the HomePod grabbed 72 percent of revenue in the smart speaker category. But in February and March, its share of revenue slipped to 19 percent, according to Slice Intelligence, compared with 68 percent for Amazon.
One of the main reasons for such staggering sales is said to be its high dependency on the iPhones. The HomePod, limited as a digital assistant works only with the iPhones and despite offering a premium sound experience, the lack of cross-platform support must have stung the sales.
Secondly, the HomePod does lack a few capabilities in contrast to what its competitors – Echo and Google Home offer. HomePod can play Apple Music, control a limited number of Apple-optimized smart home appliances and send messages through an iPhone. The HomePod speaker that costs $200 more than most speakers can’t do many other things like ordering pizzas, answering questions and this could be another reason for its lower sales.
Also, there were many situations before that could have increased the sales of the HomePod. For instance, the smart speaker wasn’t available during the holiday shopping season when smart speakers were in much demand.
Compared to the most speakers, HomePod still seems to be on its initial stage but its software is expected to gain some regular updates so as to maintain a good pace in this competition.