Apple HomePod manufacturer Inventec warns of limited quantities available at Dec. launch

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited August 2017
During an earnings conference call, Inventec's CEO said that Apple's HomePod would have little material impact on the company's future results as quantities of the device will probably be constrained at launch -- with other reports claiming that Foxconn will handle half of the manufacturing duties in 2018.




Speaking to investors, Inventec CEO David Ho confirmed that the HomePod would ship to Apple in the fourth fiscal quarter, with tight constraints.

"We will finally ship the smart home device this year," said Ho. "But, its [earnings] contribution will be fairly limited and hopefully that will improve next year"

After the conference call, an analyst predicted that Inventec would likely only ship 500,000 units of the HomePod in 2017. For that half-million, Inventec's revenue is predicted to only increase less than one percent.

An unnamed source within Inventec told the Nikkei Asian Review on Monday that the HomePod would in part shift to rival Foxconn in 2018 at some point -- but when specifically was not made clear.

Apple's $349 HomePod was revealed at the 2017 WWDC and will ship in December. The HomePod is powered by an Apple A8 chip featuring realtime acoustic modeling, audio beam-forming, and multi-channel echo cancelation. It features a subset of Siri, optimized for music consumption.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    Do we know for sure that the HomePod works with AppleTV? 
  • Reply 2 of 22
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 495member
    Do we know for sure that the HomePod works with AppleTV
    http://www.flatpanelshd.com/news.php?subaction=showfull&id=1496747943

    supposedly airplay 2 will be compatible with Apple TV 4:

    "Apple has announced Airplay 2, which includes new features such as multiroom, HomeKit compatibility, and Apple TV4 integration. The new HomePod speaker will be one of the first speakers with Airplay 2 but the company also announced a handful of partners, including Bang & Olufsen and Bose."
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 3 of 22
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,747member
    I've been pretty sure that Supply would be limited and demand HIGH. That people many people are going to have weeks to wait. I have no interest in one myself.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    holyoneholyone Posts: 377member
    Does anyone have any clue as to what the problem with the HP is ? Seriously how hard is to make a speaker ? Sure it's a very fancy one, but still a speaker no ?  I first thought the 3D mesh acoustic fabric seamed a fairly challenging manufacturing proposition at first glance and thought that probably coz delays but now I'm wondering if theres more to why it was announced so early 
  • Reply 5 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,731member
    holyone said:
    Does anyone have any clue as to what the problem with the HP is ? Seriously how hard is to make a speaker ? Sure it's a very fancy one, but still a speaker no ?  I first thought the 3D mesh acoustic fabric seamed a fairly challenging manufacturing proposition at first glance and thought that probably coz delays but now I'm wondering if theres more to why it was announced so early 
    They did the same with the Apple Watch, announced fully 6 months (or more?) before it was actually available to buy. My guess is for competitive reasons as other companies like Amazon are already getting a lot of press in the assistant-enabled speaker space and slowing the purchase pace of those other products is in Apple's interests, but only the folks at Apple know specifically why they would announce it so early. 
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 6 of 22
    jbdragon said:
    I've been pretty sure that Supply would be limited and demand HIGH. That people many people are going to have weeks to wait. I have no interest in one myself.
    Earpods Mk 2 on the way. Sigh.
    Why do Apple have to make things so difficult to make???? Especially fot the V1 releases.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 22
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,936member
    jbdragon said:
    I've been pretty sure that Supply would be limited and demand HIGH. That people many people are going to have weeks to wait. I have no interest in one myself.
    Earpods Mk 2 on the way. Sigh.
    Why do Apple have to make things so difficult to make???? Especially fot the V1 releases.
    Yes, why can’t they simply pop out of a clamshell, fully formed and perfect.  :o

    It is the very fact that it’s a v1 that makes a product more difficult to produce. Economies of scale happen after everyone is familar with the product and problems related to manufacturing. 
    edited August 2017 williamlondonmacxpresspscooter63watto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 8 of 22
    macguimacgui Posts: 772member
    Apple announced the first iPhone on 9 January 2007. It shipped on 29 June 2007.

    Of the top, I can't think of a major upgrade of a product that shipped the same day or very shortly after being announced, but I know there are some. 

    Products with incremental upgrades were/are almost always available same day as announced.

    As to how hard can it be to make a speaker... I think it should be obvious the manufacturing standards set by Apple pretty much conclude a manufacturer doing cookie cutter stamping.

    Steve Jobs was known for nixing shipping because of what some would perceive as a very minor flaw in execution. I don't imagine that's changed much. 

    I think Apple may announce some products that aren't planned to ship yet to create buzz and not to be seen as just 'me too'.

    Superficially, the HomePod makes Google Home and Amazon Echo look like a bargain. But if it preforms anywhere near promised, I'm in. I've got a Dot and I'm not too pleased. Siri has her issues but I can tolerate them.

    My concern is that using two HomePods won't give you stereo sound but just two DSP enabled speakers for 'more sound' or 'spacious' sound as Apple calls it. They're emphasizing sound but I don't expect it to be more than musical competition to Google and Amazon. I see it as a better sounding, HomeKit compatible digital assistant.
    Rayz2016lolliver
  • Reply 9 of 22
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,147member
    I predict this company will not be doing business with apple in the future. When are these companies going to learn they can not make statement about Apple business. May this is why the other name source claims the business is moving to Foxconn, so it a bit of sour grapes.
    lolliver
  • Reply 10 of 22
    Has anyone considered that the HomePod, besides being a Siri speaker, could double as a WiFi mesh station, Apple's answer to Eero. In fact, with the announced Bluetooth mesh standard, it could do BT too, sure to be helpful with HomeKit. Seems like the ATV4 should be able to do that also, with the correct firmware.
    williamlondonpatchythepirateMacsplosionlolliver
  • Reply 11 of 22
    DoctorQ said:
    Has anyone considered that the HomePod, besides being a Siri speaker, could double as a WiFi mesh station, Apple's answer to Eero. In fact, with the announced Bluetooth mesh standard, it could do BT too, sure to be helpful with HomeKit. Seems like the ATV4 should be able to do that also, with the correct firmware.
    Yep. HomePod is likely a component of a much bigger plan for HomeKit implementation, along with whatever still unannounced mystery will be the next step for Apple in routers and networking. The greatly exaggerated rumors of the demise of AirPort also plays into this picture. Apple will not be abandoning the heart of the networked home.

    Up to this point, home automation and 'the internet of things' has been an ad hoc mess of fits and starts. I think HomePod is going to play an important role in Apple's re-working of that mess into something that 'just works.' A few judiciously placed HomePods will suddenly make it possible to reliably and securely connect all those HomeKit devices, while making voice control of them possible, even without remembering where you set down your iPhone. 

    Steve Jobs did not invent the smartphone, but before he introduced the iPhone, there was a hodgepodge of phones, PDAs, MP3 players, point-and-shoot digital cameras, GPS devices, etc. out there, taking up pocket space and cumulatively costing their owners a lot of money. Then, by a couple of years into the iPhone, all those things became one device that just works. The wireless home automation scene right now is ripe for the same thing to happen with that, and I think HomePod is the vanguard of that realignment. 
    StrangeDayspscooter63lolliver
  • Reply 12 of 22
    macgui said:
    Apple announced the first iPhone on 9 January 2007. It shipped on 29 June 2007.

    Of the top, I can't think of a major upgrade of a product that shipped the same day or very shortly after being announced, but I know there are some. 

    Products with incremental upgrades were/are almost always available same day as announced.

    As to how hard can it be to make a speaker... I think it should be obvious the manufacturing standards set by Apple pretty much conclude a manufacturer doing cookie cutter stamping.

    Steve Jobs was known for nixing shipping because of what some would perceive as a very minor flaw in execution. I don't imagine that's changed much. 

    I think Apple may announce some products that aren't planned to ship yet to create buzz and not to be seen as just 'me too'.

    Superficially, the HomePod makes Google Home and Amazon Echo look like a bargain. But if it preforms anywhere near promised, I'm in. I've got a Dot and I'm not too pleased. Siri has her issues but I can tolerate them.

    My concern is that using two HomePods won't give you stereo sound but just two DSP enabled speakers for 'more sound' or 'spacious' sound as Apple calls it. They're emphasizing sound but I don't expect it to be more than musical competition to Google and Amazon. I see it as a better sounding, HomeKit compatible digital assistant.
    Didn’t Schiller go over two speaker set ups a the reveal? I seem to recall a special graphic just for that. 
    lolliverwilliamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 22
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,887administrator
    macgui said:
    Apple announced the first iPhone on 9 January 2007. It shipped on 29 June 2007.

    Of the top, I can't think of a major upgrade of a product that shipped the same day or very shortly after being announced, but I know there are some. 

    Products with incremental upgrades were/are almost always available same day as announced.

    As to how hard can it be to make a speaker... I think it should be obvious the manufacturing standards set by Apple pretty much conclude a manufacturer doing cookie cutter stamping.

    Steve Jobs was known for nixing shipping because of what some would perceive as a very minor flaw in execution. I don't imagine that's changed much. 

    I think Apple may announce some products that aren't planned to ship yet to create buzz and not to be seen as just 'me too'.

    Superficially, the HomePod makes Google Home and Amazon Echo look like a bargain. But if it preforms anywhere near promised, I'm in. I've got a Dot and I'm not too pleased. Siri has her issues but I can tolerate them.

    My concern is that using two HomePods won't give you stereo sound but just two DSP enabled speakers for 'more sound' or 'spacious' sound as Apple calls it. They're emphasizing sound but I don't expect it to be more than musical competition to Google and Amazon. I see it as a better sounding, HomeKit compatible digital assistant.
    Didn’t Schiller go over two speaker set ups a the reveal? I seem to recall a special graphic just for that. 
    Multiple devices do give stereo sound. Schiller spoke on that specifically at the announcement.
    pscooter63lolliverwilliamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 22
    DoctorQ said:
    Has anyone considered that the HomePod, besides being a Siri speaker, could double as a WiFi mesh station, Apple's answer to Eero. In fact, with the announced Bluetooth mesh standard, it could do BT too, sure to be helpful with HomeKit. Seems like the ATV4 should be able to do that also, with the correct firmware.
    That's DEFINITELY what I've been hoping for since they are apparently abandoning the airport extremes. 
  • Reply 15 of 22
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,404member
    My guess is that the entirety of the industrialization process is far more complex and exacting than most lay people can easily grasp or appreciate. While Apple has some insanely talented visionaries, designers, engineers, marketeers, and executives who can create new ideas and show them to the world at product announcements that stun the world, the industrialization team(s) are the real behind-the-scenes unsung heroes who are responsible for figuring out how to bring these visions into reality using actual components, tooling, materials, and manufacturing processes that yield perfection on a scale of tens of millions of perfect copies per quarter. This is a very nontrivial part of the Apple "magic" that rarely gets a mention or much attention on-stage during any of the product announcement events. A new product like AirPods and HomePods, something on the cutting edge that's unlike anything Apple has ever done before, requires as much innovation on the industrialization/manufacturing side as it does on the vision and technology side. It ain't easy and there's zero tolerance for failure.
    pscooter63patchythepiratemuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 22
    macguimacgui Posts: 772member
    Didn’t Schiller go over two speaker set ups a the reveal? I seem to recall a special graphic just for that. 
    Yes, he did. He didn't say anything about 'stereo'.


    Mike Wuerthele said:
    Multiple devices do give stereo sound. Schiller spoke on that specifically at the announcement.
    No, he didn't.


    He said when you set up two they automatically work together to give incredible spacious sound that has the power to rock your house. Not the same thing. Carefully parsed, he absolutely did not say 'stereo'. At this point, it looks to me to be two mono speakers, not a left and right channel that is traditionally known as stereo.

    Given the ability of AirPods to shift from mono to stereo when going from one to two AirPods, you might infer that two HomePods will provide true stereo sound (albeit with heavy digital processing) but that was not said at WWDC 2017. 

    Does the W1 chip give the AirPods mono/stereo switching? I've seen no mention of it being in the HomePods. Maybe all this has been clarified at some subsequent interview, but I haven't seen it.


    Very few wireless speakers will mimic the AirPod true mono/stereo switching. I hope the HomePod is one (two) of them.
    edited August 2017 williamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 22
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,887administrator
    macgui said:
    Didn’t Schiller go over two speaker set ups a the reveal? I seem to recall a special graphic just for that. 
    Yes, he did. He didn't say anything about 'stereo'.


    Mike Wuerthele said:
    Multiple devices do give stereo sound. Schiller spoke on that specifically at the announcement.
    No, he didn't.


    He said when you set up two they automatically work together to give incredible spacious sound that has the power to rock your house. Not the same thing. Carefully parsed, he absolutely did not say 'stereo'. At this point, it looks to me to be two mono speakers, not a left and right channel that is traditionally known as stereo.

    Given the ability of AirPods to shift from mono to stereo when going from one to two AirPods, you might infer that two HomePods will provide true stereo sound (albeit with heavy digital processing) but that was not said at WWDC 2017. 

    Does the W1 chip give the AirPods mono/stereo switching? I've seen no mention of it being in the HomePods. Maybe all this has been clarified at some subsequent interview, but I haven't seen it.


    Very few wireless speakers will mimic the AirPod true mono/stereo switching. I hope the HomePod is one (two) of them.
    Yeah, he did -- but maybe not at the keynote, possibly. Plus it was demonstrated it at the after-event.


    williamlondon
  • Reply 18 of 22
    Hard to believe that people are still debating whether or not the HomePod produces stereo sound with a single unit. Of course it does. Think of the classic boom box from the '70s and '80s: those were very compact and had woofers/tweeters that were typically 12-18" apart on each side. A boom box produced stereo sound, regardless of whether or not it had much separation. Now consider the HomePod. Not only does it have 7 tweeters and a subwoofer, it also has audio beam forming capability due to the inclusion of a CPU and RAM, plus the ability to evaluate the position of the speaker within the room. There's no question that the HomePod can direct sound to the tweeters to produce a stereo effect.

    Two HomePods will increase the stereo separation, but only one is needed to produce stereo sound. 
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 19 of 22
    gatorguy said:
    holyone said:
    Does anyone have any clue as to what the problem with the HP is ? Seriously how hard is to make a speaker ? Sure it's a very fancy one, but still a speaker no ?  I first thought the 3D mesh acoustic fabric seamed a fairly challenging manufacturing proposition at first glance and thought that probably coz delays but now I'm wondering if theres more to why it was announced so early 
    They did the same with the Apple Watch, announced fully 6 months (or more?) before it was actually available to buy. My guess is for competitive reasons as other companies like Amazon are already getting a lot of press in the assistant-enabled speaker space and slowing the purchase pace of those other products is in Apple's interests, but only the folks at Apple know specifically why they would announce it so early. 

    It could also be for the same reason the first iPhone and the Apple Watch were announced months in advance - they didn't want it leaked when it was submitted for the various regulatory approvals.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    macguimacgui Posts: 772member
    As I said, he most definitely did not say so at the Keynote.

    As I wasn't at the after-event, I couldn't say. But I appreciate the links. It clears up my only reservation, short of actually hearing the HomePod(s). Thanks.



    Hard to believe that people are still debating whether or not the HomePod produces stereo sound with a single unit. 
    Who's doing that? I missed it.

    Then there's question of how you define stereo sound. I'm not into heavily-digitally process sound for the sake of special effects.

    Some boom boxes were large enough that stereo reproduction could be discerned within a few feet of the box. Beyond that the signal may as well have been mono. At that point touting 'stereo' was no more than marketing ticking a box, and some schlub winning a bar bet.

    Separation, aside from the above, is only part of the equation. 'Filling the room with sound' is laudable and under some circumstances, good enough. Putting a bunch of drivers in one enclosure to accomplish spatial hocus-pocus has been done before. Still not what is traditionally stereo as many of is, and I, define it.

    The Beatles first stereo albums had the vocals in one channel and music in the other. Stereo? Sure, you win. A realistic representation or even approximation of a musical performance? Only if you back away  from the speakers far enough, then you can approximate sitting in the cheap seats. Not that it mattered for a Beatles concert.

    Good imaging, necessary to provide a realistic soundstage, is one of my top priorities. Whether or not a single HomePod can pull this off remains to be, uh, seen. The Verge article mentioned placing instruments in different locations, but that's not quite as informative as I'd like. And that's fine, really. I'm not an ultra purist and make concessions to sound quality as needed. That's my context and I'm sticking to it.

    As long as I can 'see' a proper stereo soundstage with two HomePods I'll be happy. So I await critical testing and reviews.



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