It Looks Like Apple's HomePod Is In Trouble

No Echo here! Apple cuts Home Pod orders after sales prove to be lackluster

No Echo here: Apple reportedly cut orders for its HomePod smart speaker last month

Initial sales of Apple's HomePod have underperformed the company's conservative forecasts, leading the company to cut manufacturing orders and lower forecasts, Bloomberg reports.

Tech Radar reports that with some stores selling as few as ten HomePods a day, stocks of the device are "piling up", prompting Apple to slash its orders with Taiwanese manufacturer Investec.

This isn't the first time Apple has struggled to get a hot seller for a new product category.

That puts the Apple speaker "well behind" Amazon's Echo range, which despite recent problems with its its Alexa virtual assistant, commands around 73% of the market, says Alphr.

With that said, reviews of the HomePod's sound quality have been overwhelmingly positive, with even audiophiles conceding that the device delivers incredible sound, a feat made all the more impressive given the speaker's relatively small footprint.

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To make matters worse, the device missed its December release date, meaning the HomePod wasn't available during the pivotal holiday shopping season when smart speakers were among the most sought-after products. Citing data from component suppliers and a market research firm, Bloomberg reports that consumers simply aren't buying the HomePod and that Apple has been forced to cut orders. The main issue seems to be that consumers assumed that the HomePod would retain the same functionality as competing speakers like the Google Home or Amazon Echo. That's a serious disincentive, Cross says, when the Apple speaker costs $200 more than most smart speakers.

Siri on HomePod can answer basic questions, play back and interact with audio content (currently limited to Apple services), control HomeKit devices, set timers and more. Google Home and Sonos Ones garnered 8 percent and 5 percent of revenues, respectively. By contrast, Munster predicts that Amazon will sell 29 million Echos this year and 39 million in 2019. The HomePod is said to go on sale in December during the holiday shopping season but unfortunately delayed on previous year. Alphabet, he estimates, will move 18 million Google Homes in 2018 and about 32 million the following year.

For its part, Apple hasn't divulged sales or sales forecasts.

But still, a premium acoustic experience seemingly hasn't spurred a spike in sales for Apple's astonishingly powerful smart speaker.

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