The HomePod is stumbling

When Apple Inc.’s HomePod smart speaker went on sale in January, it entered a market pioneered and dominated by Amazon’s Echo lineup of Alexa-powered devices. Apple has been touting the HomePod’s superior sound quality but so far hasn’t enticed many consumers to part with $349.

By late March, Apple had lowered sales forecasts and cut some orders with Inventec Corp., one of the manufacturers that builds the HomePod for Apple, according to a person familiar with the matter… More at Bloomberg.

I was very impressed with the HomePod when I had it for review and was sorry to see it go, but I suspect my usage pattern is similar to enough other people that it may struggle at its current price. I simply do not get the opportunity to listen to music out loud anymore and tend to use earphones 99% of the time for audio. Add to this the fact that Siri is not good in comparison to the competition and the lower sales start to make sense. It’s understandable because the likes of Google and Amazon are not so privacy focussed, but the fact remains that the HomePod is not smart. It is a brilliant speaker, of that there is no doubt, but I suspect not enough people want just a ‘speaker’.

11 thoughts on “The HomePod is stumbling

  1. I listen to music a lot – most of the day when I am working -and I tend to use my laptop’s embedded speakers. They’re good enough, and convenient. Nice though the HomePod is, it’s too much of a white elephant, and also, it seems, heavily dependent on Apple Music. Not for me.

  2. The real question for me is why is Echo doing so well… I’m lacking imagination about what I’d use it for.

    If I went this route it would be for the speaker aspect, in which case Sonos would probably fit the bill better.

      1. Well ,that explains why “better than Apple” but what’s the appeal?
        Is it “pretty much good for music” for music? In which case it might make sense.

        Of course for me the price is privacy and the sense that someone is always frickin’ listening. I mean phones have that too these days (Hey Siri) but it’s not the main selling point and interface.

        1. The privacy thing is an issue, but for the majority of people? Judging by the popularity of the Echo etc I suspect not.

          I just think that +£300 is a lot for any single speaker and it needs something very special to make people spend that much. It’s good, but not that special.

          1. Your currency tax is amazing. 350 USD is significantly less than 300 GBP

            For better or worse I’m surprised how small it is

  3. For three days straight an article like this has been at the top of my Google app feed. I guess Cambridge Analytica isn’t the only one who can manipulate what articles we see on social media.

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