Apple Lowers HomePod Forecasts and Cuts Orders Following Lackluster Sales

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It leaves open the prospect that Apple's numbers will improve when HomePod's hardware, software, and pricing issues are addressed.

According to Bloomberg, the £319 device hasn't been as popular as the tech giant had expected, despite grabbing a third of the smart speaker market when pre-orders opened at the end of January. The company is now lowering the HomePod sales forecast and cutting the orders for the device on the back of weak demand. Only said enthusiasm evaporated nearly instantaneously, as potential customers learned the non-audio-playing capabilities of the $349 gadget were somewhat limited compared to significantly cheaper Echos and Google Homes.

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.

According to statistics obtained by Bloomberg, some Apple Stores are reporting sales figures in the single digits each week for the HomePod.

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After an okay start, Apple's HomePod isn't winning over enough shoppers. Now, however, it seems the device isn't selling as well as Apple hoped. During its first 10 weeks of sales, the HomePod captured 10% of the smart speaker market, compared to 73% for Amazon and 14% for Google. So data of any kind at this early stage of the game is really hard to take too seriously. Three weeks after the launch, sales of the HomePod had dropped to just 4% of the US smart speaker market.

Apple has not commented on the report. The HomePod is said to go on sale in December during the holiday shopping season but unfortunately delayed on past year.

The report cites revised analyst predictions of seven million HomePod sales this year, roughly one-fourth Amazon's Echo sales and less than a half of Google Home sales. Google, on the other hand, will likely sell 18 million Home speakers in 2018 and 32 million in 2019. Yet Siri's inability to rival Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant in practicality, including answering questions or ordering food, has placed HomePod at a competitive disadvantage relative to less expensive smart speakers.

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