Apple HomePod sales 'underwhelming,' AirPods still growing, analyst says

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 10
Sales of Apple's first smartspeaker, the HomePod, have so far been "underwhelming," according to a Barclays analyst, citing a week-long trip his team spent meeting companies in Apple's Asian supply chain.




While no exact numbers were provided, Apple was originally planning a first production run of 6 to 7 million units, said Blayne Curtis in a memo seen by AppleInsider. Few HomePod figures have emerged, and none from Apple itself, so it isn't clear what the analysts are using for a measure of success. Most recently, Loup Ventures estimated that 3 percent of smartspeaker owners have a HomePod.

The HomePod has typically been praised for its sound quality, but lambasted for Siri, which is more limited as an AI assistant that Amazon's Alexa or Google Assistant.

On a positive note, Curtis said Apple will probably continue to grow production of AirPods, which have proven a strong seller for Apple despite their $159 pricetag. U.S. online orders may still take weeks to deliver, well over a year after their Dec. 2016 launch.

Both AirPods and the HomePod are rumored to be getting updates later this year. The flagship $349 HomePod could be joined by a cheaper model, while AirPods could be tweaked to include a newer wireless chip and tap-free "Hey Siri" commands. 2019 buds could have better water resistance.

Curtis said Barclays is expecting some form of upgraded AirPods early next year.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 91
    mavemufcmavemufc Posts: 326member
    Another Apple product, another “analyst” claiming the sales are underwhelming, I think we’ve been here before.
    lkruppStrangeDaysronnanton zuykovsuddenly newtonAppleZulujony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 91
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 571member
    It's a shame if this is true, because the HomePod does sound amazing. You need to have it for a few days to really appreciate it. Don't expect the sound to fill a living room (yet, that may change if the stereo capability rolls out); but for kitchen, hallway and bedroom, the sound is absolutely perfect. There is a deep emotional engagement with the music from the HomePod versus any other speaker I have ever had in that price range. Compare it to the UE Megablast (which is only a little cheaper) and there is no comparison, none at all; the UE hurts your ears afterwards.
    StrangeDaysmacguicaladaniankevin kee
  • Reply 3 of 91
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,735member
    Right... Underwhelming compared to what? An Iphone, a $30 echo? Whatever criteria they pulled out of their ass
    coming from the same people who deemed the watch a failure and always seemingly get the Iphone numbers wrong (a number Apple actually shares)
    from those "supply checks" let alone the number of something in others.

    Same drivel as usual. Notice the device is only sold in 3 countries.

    edited March 9 mark fearingLukeCageequality72521StrangeDaysronncaladanianjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 91
    bitmodbitmod Posts: 171member
    sflagel said:
    It's a shame if this is true, because the HomePod does sound amazing. You need to have it for a few days to really appreciate it. Don't expect the sound to fill a living room (yet, that may change if the stereo capability rolls out); but for kitchen, hallway and bedroom, the sound is absolutely perfect. There is a deep emotional engagement with the music from the HomePod versus any other speaker I have ever had in that price range. Compare it to the UE Megablast (which is only a little cheaper) and there is no comparison, none at all; the UE hurts your ears afterwards.
    It makes for a good hallway stereo... really fills the hallway with good sound.  :D :D :D
  • Reply 5 of 91
    horvatichorvatic Posts: 97member
    I think the story is a hit piece and means virtually nothing in the real world. Also software updates will come to the HomePod and IOS which will improve everything in the future. Siri is a very long term project that will continue to grow and mature. That is a quote from Craig Federighi.
    equality72521ronn
  • Reply 6 of 91
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 805member
    Love my HomePod. I’m getting a second one as soon as Apple updates the software so they can make beautiful stereo music together.
    equality72521crabbywatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 91
    It's a shame if this is true, because the HomePod does sound amazing

    Sure, but my Yamaha stereo with two nice Mirage speakers sounds better. And that setup cost the same as a Home Pod.

    It's just too expensive. This is an accessory, it can't cost as much as a full-blown iPad. And everyone knows it.

    If you can't do it $199, don't do it. It's not like someone was forcing them to sell one.
    DAalsethentropyslarryadacharwilliamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 91
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,193member
    Siri is actually better at listening and responding on my HomePod than any other Apple device. That fact gets ignored by those whose only metric is an assistant’s ability to provide arcane facts from the internet. HomePod is not a voice UI computer replacement. It has a more limited scope—for now. It’s value is in its ability to do “Home” work, just like its name implies. The more home devices you have (thermostats, doorbells, cameras, lights, etc.) the better it is. Yes, Siri is less robust than Google in some things, and can be maddeningly frustrating sometimes. But the others are not immune from these same frustrations; it’s a matter of degree. And there are good reasons for this differential—privacy foremost among them. The “Siri is lame” meme has become a tiresome substitute for diligent journalism. 

    [My comment was not aimed at the author of this piece]
    edited March 9 freerangeequality72521crabbywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 91
    bitmodbitmod Posts: 171member
    Man, surprising news - considering people can get the equivalent of a $50,000 audiophile system for $350 - plus the added bonus of a smart system (according to the usual AI fanboys). 
    Meanwhile, back in reality - I think there are a few barriers:
    - Privacy. Not a lot of people want an 'always listening' device. 
    - Competition. There are better 'smart' systems out there.
    - Sound Quality. It's good for a smart speaker - but audiophiles don't buy toys to listen to audio. If sound quality is your main priority - a smart speaker isn't on your radar. 
    - Limitations. No Spotify or 3rd party native support. Extremely limited connection capabilities. 
    - Requires Apple Music Subscription to take advantage of 'smart' functionality. 

    But it sure fills a hallway with good sound... 
    emig647tylersdadDAalsethgatorguylarryamuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 91
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 207member
    Hahahahahahah, like I have been telling my friends, if you cannot afford Apple products go buy Googles, in a few months it becomes absolutely obsolete w no supports.
    edited March 11 StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 91
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,328member
    None of this means anything.   We will have some indication of how the HomePod has done at the Q2 financial announcement.   If it’s a big hit Cook will certainly boast about it.   If it is a little hit , it will probably show up as a bump in the Other Hardware category YOY.  If it hasn’t done good sales YOY will be flat or down.  If Sonos is a $1B business , HomePod should be at least $2B.
  • Reply 12 of 91
    freshmakerfreshmaker Posts: 511member
    Not really sold on the whole smartspeaker idea yet, so staying away from all of them for the time being.  I just don’t see how I’d get a whole lot of use from one other than playing music or getting sports scores or a weather update, and I can just use my iPhone for that.

    Id love to get a pair of AirPods, but the regular EarPods just refuse to stay in my ears.  They fall right out after about 10 steps, and forget working out in them.  Actually use an old pair of Beats over-the-ear to workout in
    DavidAlGregory
  • Reply 13 of 91
    dachardachar Posts: 330member
    I have been sitting on the fence over HomePod. It is possible l may be biased as l have a 7 speaker Sonos system that l love, but so far Apple has not convinced me.

    Apple advertise HomePod as a powerful speaker with amazing sound that can adapt to its location and a music authority with an intelligent home assistant, capable of handling everyday tasks and controlling your smart home. 

    It seems the general views are HomePod sounds really good but the Siri Intelligent  system falls short compared with other smart speakers. The thing is, however great the sound is, it is being marketed as an intelligent speaker yet it seems Siri is not good enough. This could have effected sales. The question is, will Apple improve Siri any time soon?
  • Reply 14 of 91
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,582member
    > It's a shame if this is true, because the HomePod does sound amazing

    Sure, but my Yamaha stereo with two nice Mirage speakers sounds better. And that setup cost the same as a Home Pod.

    It's just too expensive. This is an accessory, it can't cost as much as a full-blown iPad. And everyone knows it.

    If you can't do it $199, don't do it. It's not like someone was forcing them to sell one.
    Yes, and mobile phones costing upwards of $1,000 will never sell! /s
    mike1StrangeDayswilliamlondon
  • Reply 15 of 91
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,544member
    Only Apple knows how well its doing. Apple has its own sales projections and goals. Maybe Apple only intended on selling a million HomePod's in the first couple of quarters. We've been through this before too...Apple Watch. Sales were underwhelming and a lot pretty much wrote Apple Watch off as a failure and look where it is now. I think the same thing happened with iPhone when it was first launched in 2007. These expert analysts never give a product a chance. It takes time to enter a new space and get a product out the door, updated and get customers acclimated with it. It doesn't happen in one quarter...it happens over time. 
    mike1equality72521StrangeDays
  • Reply 16 of 91
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,735member
    bitmod said:
    Man, surprising news - considering people can get the equivalent of a $50,000 audiophile system for $350 - plus the added bonus of a smart system (according to the usual AI fanboys). 
    Meanwhile, back in reality - I think there are a few barriers:
    - Privacy. Not a lot of people want an 'always listening' device. 
    - Competition. There are better 'smart' systems out there.
    - Sound Quality. It's good for a smart speaker - but audiophiles don't buy toys to listen to audio. If sound quality is your main priority - a smart speaker isn't on your radar. 
    - Limitations. No Spotify or 3rd party native support. Extremely limited connection capabilities. 
    - Requires Apple Music Subscription to take advantage of 'smart' functionality. 

    But it sure fills a hallway with good sound... 
    Blah blah blah, show the receipt or you're just blowing wind. At the end of the first year of sales, when Cook will give a hint at actual sales numbers (like he did for the Watch and airpods) I'm sure you'll be here to let me beat you up with that hmm. Not counting on it of course.
    equality72521StrangeDaysmacgui
  • Reply 17 of 91
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,735member
    dachar said:
    I have been sitting on the fence over HomePod. It is possible l may be biased as l have a 7 speaker Sonos system that l love, but so far Apple has not convinced me.

    Apple advertise HomePod as a powerful speaker with amazing sound that can adapt to its location and a music authority with an intelligent home assistant, capable of handling everyday tasks and controlling your smart home. 

    It seems the general views are HomePod sounds really good but the Siri Intelligent  system falls short compared with other smart speakers. The thing is, however great the sound is, it is being marketed as an intelligent speaker yet it seems Siri is not good enough. This could have effected sales. The question is, will Apple improve Siri any time soon?
    No it's not marketing mostly as such, so you start up with a lie. 
  • Reply 18 of 91
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,901member
    $200ish HomePod is coming, guys. I'll get a pair and screw the Sonos One pair.
  • Reply 19 of 91
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,459member
    bitmod said:
    Man, surprising news - considering people can get the equivalent of a $50,000 audiophile system for $350 - plus the added bonus of a smart system (according to the usual AI fanboys). 
    Meanwhile, back in reality - I think there are a few barriers:
    - Privacy. Not a lot of people want an 'always listening' device. 
    - Competition. There are better 'smart' systems out there.
    - Sound Quality. It's good for a smart speaker - but audiophiles don't buy toys to listen to audio. If sound quality is your main priority - a smart speaker isn't on your radar. 
    - Limitations. No Spotify or 3rd party native support. Extremely limited connection capabilities. 
    - Requires Apple Music Subscription to take advantage of 'smart' functionality. 

    But it sure fills a hallway with good sound... 

    Have you ever personally tried a HomePod?

    - Privacy:  Siri encrypts and anonymizes all communication between the HomePod and apple servers

    - Competition:  name a better sounding speaker at that price -- dumb or smart 

    - Sound Quality: there is a market for speakers between audio crap and so-called audiophiles

    - Limitations: you can airplay any audio source to the HomePod

    -- Requires Apple Music Subscription: Wrong -- I have 2 HomePods and, no Apple Music Subscription -- Siri plays, music from my iTunes library just fine -- all currently implemented features.

    However, Siri has trouble identifying Spanish names like: Estrellita...  Though you you can spell out the name and 
    Siri will respond.

    I've never used a Google or Amazon smart speaker (I have no need for what they offer) -- how do they handle requests for names like: Estrellita or La Paloma by Julio Iglesias?
    mike1equality72521StrangeDaysroundaboutnowcaladanianmacxpress
  • Reply 20 of 91
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,193member
    jsmythe00 said:

    Siri isn't a feature.  It's a bug
    Thanks for that butt nugget.
    equality72521williamlondoncolinng
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