Back when it launched a few months ago, not every reviewer was a fan of Apple’s entry into the smart speaker market, but the HomePod’s strong pre-orders and initial sales figures were promising. Now, however, it seems the device isn’t selling as well as Apple hoped.
Citing a person familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that Apple has lowered sales forecasts and cut orders with Inventec, one of the HomePod’s manufacturers.
During the HomePod’s first 10 weeks of sales, it eked out 10 percent of the smart speaker market, compared with 73 percent for Amazon’s Echo devices and 14 percent for the Google Home, according to Slice Intelligence. Three weeks after the launch, weekly HomePod sales slipped to about 4 percent of the smart speaker category on average, the market research firm says.
Additionally, Apple store workers say that HomePod inventory continues to grow, with some locations selling fewer than ten units each day.
Its limited artificial intelligence abilities, high price, and tight integration with Apple’s ecosystem made the HomePod a difficult sell for all but the most ardent Apple fans. And the post-release “Ring Gate” incident, in which the device’s silicon base was found to leave white marks on some treated wooden surfaces, certainly hasn’t helped sales
It’s still too early to label the HomePod a total flop. A future software update is set to address some of the complaints directed against the speaker, such as the lack of multiroom audio and the inability to pair them in a stereo setup. Further improvements to digital assistant Siri could also help boost future HomePod sales.
Apple has not commented on the report.