Despite overwhelmingly positive reviews, Apple's HomePod does not seem to be resonating with consumers. Following with a couple of reports claiming that HomePod sales have been mediocre, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a new research note on Friday (through MacRumors ) echoing the Notion that HomePod, to be frank, is just not selling well.
While some of the earliest and most optimistic projections suggested that HomePod sales for 2018 could be as high as 10 million units, Kuo anticipates that Apple, by 2018 comes to an end, can see sales of HomePod fall somewhere in the 2 million range. Although it's still too early to call HomePod a failure, Apple's smart speaker certainly has not had a solid start in the market.
Part of the problem is that the HomePod is simply an expensive smart speaker. Priced at $ 349, it's significantly more expensive than competing devices like Google and Amazon. And while HomePod offers unparalleled sound quality, it may be possible for ordinary users simply not interested in paying a premium for the HomePod when they find that the audio quality on a device like Amazon Echo is sufficient. # 39;
Also, it's no secret that Siri's capabilities on HomePod are not even close to matching what competing intelligent assistants can achieve. Not only that, the Siri version that ships with the HomePod slows down in relation to the Siri experience on the iPhone.
Kuo's note says in part:
However, we note that for most users in the world, Siri is not an essential feature, and Apple has not yet become a leading brand in the assistant market of voice of AI. We also note that HomePod has not added support for new languages on the device since its launch, suggesting that Apple faces challenges in the development of voice / AI assistants around the world; This will limit the impetus of HomePod shipments.
In light of the poor sales, Kuo corroborates previous reports stating that Apple is reflecting on a more accessible HomePod device. While the details remain confusing, previous reports have claimed that Apple later this year could launch a HomePod somewhere in the $ 150 range, a price that would instantly make the device much more competitive with rival products. However, it is not yet clear what a more affordable HomePod model would bring to the table in terms of features. Either way, if Apple takes the competition in the smart speaker market seriously, it's becoming clear that the company will have to do something to shake things up, lest it fall behind.