Reports point to struggling sales for Apple's HomePod

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

It leaves open the prospect that Apple's numbers will improve when HomePod's hardware, software, and pricing issues are addressed. According to someone familiar with the matter, in late March Apple cut its forecast of HomePod sales for the year, and reduced its orders for the device from contract manufacturer Inventec.

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Apple has lowered its forecasts for the HomePod and cut orders for the smart speaker due to lackluster sales, reports Bloomberg.

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Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the company is selling less than 10 units of the product in some of its stores per day with inventories rapidly piling up in most locations. In the first 10 weeks of sales, HomePod accounted for about 10 percent of the smart speaker market in contrast to Amazon's 73 percent share. In our HomePod review, we praised the overall sound quality of the speaker and its attractive design, but lamented the limitations around Siri and the fact that it works directly only with Apple Music.

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After an okay start, Apple's HomePod isn't winning over enough shoppers. That's not all - Apple's HomePod is one of the most limited smart speakers in the market, and it's essentially locked into the Apple ecosystem. According to the report, Apple is "now working to rectify [that issue] with a new material", though it's unclear whether the company will fix existing units or just quietly introduce the improvement into later production runs. So data of any kind at this early stage of the game is really hard to take too seriously. That's the novelty of this type of device, not really the quality of the speaker where Apple is placing it's priority. Originally expected to launch in December, Apple pushed back the release to February of this year. By contrast, Munster predicts that Amazon will sell 29 million Echos this year and 39 million in 2019. Google could sell 18 million Google Homes in 2018 and 32 million next year. The New York Times has stated that "Apple has hired Google's chief of search and artificial intelligence, John Giannandrea, a major coup in its bid to catch up to the artificial intelligence technology of its rivals".

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