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20th of April 2018

Gadgets



Report: Apple Cut HomePod Orders Amid Low Demand

Apple Homepod

Apple's $349 HomePod speaker isn't exactly a breakout hit.

Bloomberg on Thursday, citing Apple store workers, reported that the Cupertino tech giant is having trouble getting HomePod units off its shelves. As a result, Apple late last month "lowered sales forecasts and cut some orders" with HomePod manufacturer Inventec Corp., the report notes.

Data from research firm Slice Intelligence indicates that Apple saw strong HomePod sales early on. The Siri-backed speaker "outperformed its competitors on the first day of release, selling 9x more units than the Sonos One and outselling the Google Home Max by a factor of 11," Slice Intelligence wrote in a blog post last month. But the HomePod proved to be no match for Amazons' Echo Show.

"The Echo Show is the lion of the smart home speaker jungle, with the HomePod selling just 48 percent of what the Echo Show sold in the inaugural three-day launch period," Slice Intelligence added. "Indeed, the HomePod launch fits the pattern that is familiar to Apple watchers—a spike in sales the first days followed by a quick drop off."

It's not a huge shock Apple is having trouble convincing consumers HomePod is worth the money, given that there are so many cheaper alternatives available. Plus, as we noted in our review, HomePod has some serious limitations and drawbacks: you can't use voice control for non-Apple music services, Siri "falls way short when it comes to third-party, branded skills," and the device leaves white rings on some wooden surfaces.

Launch timing may also be a factor in HomePod's woes. Apple originally planned to start selling HomePod in December 2017, in time for the holidays, but pushed back the launch, saying it needed more time to work on the device. The company didn't start taking HomePod pre-orders until late January and pushed its official launch to February.

If you're in the market for a HomePod alternative, be sure to check out our top picks for high quality-audio smart speakers.

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