Namely, the China Times states that Apple has reduced its HomePod shipment forecast to 200,000 units or less per month in the second quarter, down from around 500,000 units per month in the first quarter, due to lower expected sales. It is also said that Apple reviews its shipping forecast for all 2018.
HomePod sales may be mediocre, as a relatively niche product with an expensive price of $ 349, and given a handful of early criticism that criticized Siri's capabilities, but Apple CEO Tim Cook previously warned against try to interpret data points unique to the supply chain.
Cook on Apple's first-quarter earnings call in 2013:
I suggest it's good to question the accuracy of any kind of rumor about compilation plans. Even if a particular data point were real, it would be impossible to interpret that data point as to what it meant for our business. The supply chain is very complex and we have many sources of things. The returns may vary, the performance of the provider may vary. There is a long, inordinate list of things that can make any single data point not a great substitute for what is happening.
For example, report China Times only mentions Inventec and some smaller vendors affected by the cuts, despite reports that Foxconn would begin to assemble HomePods along with Inventec sometime in 2018. It is possible that Inventec has simply lost part of its orders as Apple diversifies its production.
It's been a few months since HomePod was launched, so the first users who were waiting impatiently to buy the speaker probably already have. Like an iPhone, sales can be expected to be stronger in the first weeks of availability, followed by a gradual decline over time. Production cuts are expected.
In addition, HomePod still has to be launched outside of the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, so sales are still limited geographically. Apple said the speaker will be released in France and Germany later this spring.
If sales are indeed bad, one way Apple could raise interest is to offer a more affordable HomePod, and today's report echoes rumors about a possible lower-priced version. However, the report predicts that Apple will not launch a revised or cheaper HomePod until at least the fourth quarter of this year.
We'll probably never know how well HomePod is selling, as Apple said it will group the broadcaster in its "Other products" category in its quarterly earnings reports, along with Apple Watch, Apple TV, AirPods, Beats, iPod and more . But we will be hearing the May 1 earnings call for any potential suggestions.