Apple cuts HomePod orders on weak demand, report says

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  • Reply 41 of 68
    asciiascii Posts: 5,848member
    Apple's biggest new product in recent times was AirPods, tooks months to catch up with demand, huge success. So maybe they thought "We offered some upmarket airbuds and they were a hit, let's try an upmarket speaker!"

    But airbuds, no matter how good, are not pro audio stuff. So the takeaway from the AirPods success should have been "Our customers don't care about pro audio." In which case if we want to do a smart speaker, maybe we shouldn't emphasise the audio side of it.

  • Reply 42 of 68
    mike54mike54 Posts: 253member
    I maybe have a use for one if the HomePod just had the speakers plus:
    bluetooth 5, airplay 2, input socket, detachable generic power cord, on/off switch, works with AppleTV remote, iOS app for remote. And a nice touch would a USB to play audio files.
    I think if the HomePod had all these, Apple will sell alot more, and it will be much more useful.
  • Reply 43 of 68
    foljsfoljs Posts: 303member
    There were tons of the same exact same BS "reports" and articles about iPhone X -- and they turned out all to be BS when Apple released its quarterly results.
  • Reply 44 of 68
    mavemufcmavemufc Posts: 326member
    I imagine the HomePod is doing exactly what Apple thought it would, good sales at launch then obviously they slowly go down, if this is even true they would 100% be expecting it.
    chasm
  • Reply 45 of 68
    If this is a cut similar to the iPhone X cut, I’m sure the execs at Apple are rejoicing. 
    You really want a notch on the top of it? LOL.
  • Reply 46 of 68
    pigybank said:
    Gee... nobody could possibly have predicted that an overpriced, limited function wireless speaker system with a barely useful virtual assistant would flop, right?  I’m normally a fanboy but I said Apple got this wrong from the get go and compared it to Apple HiFi.  It looks like I was right.  The key to fixing this is fixing Siri.  Apple has let what was once the flagship virtual assistant drop off into irrelevance.  But Apple shouldn’t be too hasty on that front either.  I predict that Google home and Amazon Echo hits a wall as well, and sooner than later. 
    virtual assistants are all garbage.... all of them, be it cortana, siri or alexa. Yes, from a computer science perspective they are insanely amazing but from a practical point of view they are a short-lived novelty at best, save for maybe some niche market of special needs people. 

    It's just way faster and efficient to NOT use them. 

    The magic surrounding Apple products is also waning along with the quality of their products they are well on the road to becoming just another generic major electronics company like Sony or Dell. The home pod is just another step in that direction. Of course they will continue to make money head over foot but the product offerings of late range from Mehh to might as a well get a Windows tower for less money. (which is exactly what I did 2 month ago after 15 years of buying new mac book pros on a 2-3 year cycle). 

    It's a bummer because now for people like myself there is little exciting stuff happening. 
      
    Have you used one on a speaker yet? I definitely use Assistant a lot more since I got a Home than when I just had access to it on my phone. It's very useful for music, TV, podcasts, reminders, travel, home automation, weather, asking quick questions, recipes, etc. I speak to my Home constantly throughout the day, more so than I expected.
  • Reply 47 of 68
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,034member
    pigybank said:
    Gee... nobody could possibly have predicted that an overpriced, limited function wireless speaker system with a barely useful virtual assistant would flop, right?  I’m normally a fanboy but I said Apple got this wrong from the get go and compared it to Apple HiFi.  It looks like I was right.  The key to fixing this is fixing Siri.  Apple has let what was once the flagship virtual assistant drop off into irrelevance.  But Apple shouldn’t be too hasty on that front either.  I predict that Google home and Amazon Echo hits a wall as well, and sooner than later. 
    Just like the Apple Watch is a "flop", right? There were thousands of rants like yours for months after the Apple Watch was released, and dozens upon dozens of reports of it being a "flop" until the reality eventually showed otherwise. 
    chasm
  • Reply 48 of 68
    Well, I can't even buy a HomePod over here in Finland due to Apple not shipping them here. I'd like to get one.
  • Reply 49 of 68
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,237member
    tht said:
    Over its first ten weeks on sale, HomePod accounted for just 10 percent of the smart speaker market, a figure dwarfed by segment leader Amazon's 73 percent share. Apple was also outperformed by Google, which took a 14 percent marketshare with its Google Home devices, according to Slice.

    Uh, I don’t get it. Apple took 10% of the market last quarter in 2 months with a $350 product, about 2x to 10x more than competing products, and Gurman is shading this as a failure?

    That’s classic Apple premium strategy.
    Seems to me he was attempting to add context or filler to the story, not using market share figures to infer Apple was cutting orders. Whether Apple likes it or not HomePod is being compared to Amazon Echo and Google Home both of which are quite a bit cheaper. I see Echo commercials on TV all the time. I have yet to see a HomePod commercial on TV. I bet sales pick up once Siri gets better (more skills) and there is a music/podcast domain for SiriKit. People want to natively play Spotify, Pandora, etc. directly to HomePod.
    Other crappy Alexa & Google speakers cant play Apple Music.
      I didn’t know Apple offered a native way for those speakers to play Apple Music directly,
  • Reply 50 of 68
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,237member
    chasm said:
    What Rogifan_new said, but I do have something to add. You know what this report is missing? Any information on how the other actual comparable quality smart speakers are doing. How is the more-expensive Google Max selling? How about the cheaper Sonos One? To get a true feel for how well the HomePod is doing, you should compare like for like. DUH a $30 Alexa spybot is going to outsell something that costs 15x more. The Dot also outsells all the more expensive Alexa products, from Amazon or others.

    I for one am shocked. Shocked, I say.

    This is like saying Apple is a terrible failure because iPhones sell relatively poorly compared to the combined total of all Android phones at all price points. When you compare phones over $400, though, guess who comes out on top?

    Let me be clear that the failure here is on Gurman, not Mikey Campbell on this. Without contrast, the report only states the very, very obvious: cheaper products that can do a “meh” job oursell great products that are priced accordingly. I think I’ve been aware of this since at least the days of VHS vs. Laserdisc. #old

    If you exclude all of Amazon’s cheap crap speakers, we have 27 percent of this market to play with. Let’s also exclude Google’s non-Max speakers, so that would leave them with maybe three percent (my guess), and Apple has 10 percent. That leaves 14 percent that covers both the Sonos One and all non-Amazon Alexa products. Oh hey, suddenly in context Apple looks better! Surprise!
    But what is the general public comparing HomePod to? Whether it’s right or not, whether Apple likes it or not HomePod IS being compared to Echo and Google Home. Before the HomePod went on sale I said I was skeptical of Apple’s strategy here which seemed to be nothing more than getting diehard Apple fans who will buy any new consumer product the company sells and people who might be in the market for a Sonos. Why wasn’t Apple’s strategy to go after BOTH Sonos and Google/Amazon at the same time? Why does it have to be a choice between better sound or better voice assistant? Had Apple gone this route their marketing strategy would have been easy. Of course I think we all know the reason Apple is positioning it as mostly a high quality music speaker is because Siri isn’t good enough. And this recent Google hire I think signals Tim Cook too knows Siri needs to get a lot better. The good thing is pretty much all of HomePod’s shortcomings are on the software side so current owners won’t have to buy a new one to benefit from improvements.
  • Reply 51 of 68
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 554member
    Gee, I wonder why. Could it be...



    1) No bluetooth support, automatically cutting their market in half

    2) Siri on Homepod won't play anything from your iTunes library that wasn't purchased from Apple, or connect to any alternative streaming services... unlike Alexa on Echo, which will

    3) Siri is a lame personal assistant, especially on Homepod

    4) The high price



    This is a half-baked product that will never be what it should be due to Apple's newfound Microsoftesque obsession with vendor lock-in. What a dud.
    Unless they just recently added it, Alexa can't play my apple music.  I get a response saying I can blue tooth to it and stream music controlled from my phone if I want.  
  • Reply 52 of 68
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,237member
    tht said:
    Over its first ten weeks on sale, HomePod accounted for just 10 percent of the smart speaker market, a figure dwarfed by segment leader Amazon's 73 percent share. Apple was also outperformed by Google, which took a 14 percent marketshare with its Google Home devices, according to Slice.

    Uh, I don’t get it. Apple took 10% of the market last quarter in 2 months with a $350 product, about 2x to 10x more than competing products, and Gurman is shading this as a failure?

    That’s classic Apple premium strategy.
    Seems to me he was attempting to add context or filler to the story, not using market share figures to infer Apple was cutting orders. Whether Apple likes it or not HomePod is being compared to Amazon Echo and Google Home both of which are quite a bit cheaper. I see Echo commercials on TV all the time. I have yet to see a HomePod commercial on TV. I bet sales pick up once Siri gets better (more skills) and there is a music/podcast domain for SiriKit. People want to natively play Spotify, Pandora, etc. directly to HomePod.
    That’s odd. Ever since the first ads (during the Grammies?), I’ve seen way more ads for HomePod than Google Home or Amazon Echo. But I’m in a high-income media market, so perhaps it’s a regional thing. 
    I’m in a Minneapolis suburb. I think I’ve seen 1 HomePod commercial so far. But I’m constantly seeing Alexa and Google Pixel commercials on TV.
  • Reply 53 of 68
    hodarhodar Posts: 237member
    Amazing sound,
    Almost useless Siri (Siri is a distant last place, compared to Google and even Amazon).
    And the premium price tag.

    For half the amount, I can get some very decent Bose speakers; or for the same amount some amazing Sonos - and never have to deal with the annoyance that is Siri.  Usually, I am a pretty huge fan of Apple products (iPhoneX, iPads, Macs), but Siri is perhaps their biggest disappointment to date.  They came out with Siri, and blew the competition away.  The Wolfram-Alpha approach completely caught the competition with their pants down; and Apple then sat with a "Beta" release of Siri for the next several years, while Google and Amazon caught up, and now easily surpass Siri in practically every meaningful metric.

    Until Siri at least competes with Google/Amazon; it's little more than an irritation that requires one to repeat, or rephrase a question multiple times.  To end on a positive note, at least Cortana hasn't truly surpassed Siri by much.
  • Reply 54 of 68
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 554member
    If Apple is really cutting back, that only makes sense.  My money is they have taken the real world feedback and are working on a v2 for this holiday season, probably released around the same time the next phones are.  So do you keep producing the old version for back stock or slow the production and gear up for the next iteration?  Apple can't, and won't get stuck in a loop where they are always releasing after the holiday timeframe.  Home assistants are gifts, not a utility like a phone or a watch.  

    So I wouldn't read too much into this.  There is TONS of room to improve, which is why I haven't bought a HomePod yet.  But don't write this off just yet. This feels more like market adjustment and right sizing as they gear up to implement the improvements real world "testers" have asked for.  
  • Reply 55 of 68
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,237member
    airnerd said:
    Gee, I wonder why. Could it be...



    1) No bluetooth support, automatically cutting their market in half

    2) Siri on Homepod won't play anything from your iTunes library that wasn't purchased from Apple, or connect to any alternative streaming services... unlike Alexa on Echo, which will

    3) Siri is a lame personal assistant, especially on Homepod

    4) The high price



    This is a half-baked product that will never be what it should be due to Apple's newfound Microsoftesque obsession with vendor lock-in. What a dud.
    Unless they just recently added it, Alexa can't play my apple music.  I get a response saying I can blue tooth to it and stream music controlled from my phone if I want.  
    Is that because Amazon won’t allow it or Apple doesn’t offer them a way to allow it? I know Echo has Spotify integration so it seems odd that Amazon would intentionally block Apple Music.
  • Reply 56 of 68
    With a moronic voice assistant, HomePod is nothing more than a good speaker. And there are are plenty of those.

    I bought one and ended up turning off Siri...
    edited April 12
  • Reply 57 of 68
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,276member
    airnerd said:
    Gee, I wonder why. Could it be...



    1) No bluetooth support, automatically cutting their market in half

    2) Siri on Homepod won't play anything from your iTunes library that wasn't purchased from Apple, or connect to any alternative streaming services... unlike Alexa on Echo, which will

    3) Siri is a lame personal assistant, especially on Homepod

    4) The high price



    This is a half-baked product that will never be what it should be due to Apple's newfound Microsoftesque obsession with vendor lock-in. What a dud.
    Unless they just recently added it, Alexa can't play my apple music.  I get a response saying I can blue tooth to it and stream music controlled from my phone if I want.  
    Is that because Amazon won’t allow it or Apple doesn’t offer them a way to allow it? I know Echo has Spotify integration so it seems odd that Amazon would intentionally block Apple Music.
    Apple controls the access.
  • Reply 58 of 68
    zonezone Posts: 53member
    Soli said:
    zone said:
    A big key is Apple is not listening unlike the other services.
    Of course Siri is listening. The service literally doesn't work without listening for the wake word.
    It not always on... It listens for Siri but that's it. It only turns on then. The other devices hear everything and send that info to Amazon and Google at all time (there even reports that they store the data). Apple does not need your data like the others. When will people figure this out? Gee!!! I mean right as FB is getting grilled for privacy and people still get it. You others devices are cheaper because they're selling your data...
    edited April 12
  • Reply 59 of 68
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,288member
    zone said:
    Soli said:
    zone said:
    A big key is Apple is not listening unlike the other services.
    Of course Siri is listening. The service literally doesn't work without listening for the wake word.
    It not always on... It listens for Siri but that's it. It only turns on then. The other devices hear everything and send that info to Amazon and Google at all time (there even reports that they store the data). Apple does not need your data like the others. When will people figure this out? Gee!!! I mean right as FB is getting grilled for privacy and people still get it. You others devices are cheaper because they're selling your data…
    Nothing you said was correct. You don't even know that Apple's wake word is "Hey Siri."
    edited April 12
  • Reply 60 of 68
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,276member
    zone said:
    Soli said:
    zone said:
    A big key is Apple is not listening unlike the other services.
    Of course Siri is listening. The service literally doesn't work without listening for the wake word.
    It not always on... It listens for Siri but that's it. It only turns on then. The other devices hear everything and send that info to Amazon and Google at all time (there even reports that they store the data). Apple does not need your data like the others. When will people figure this out? Gee!!! I mean right as FB is getting grilled for privacy and people still get it. You others devices are cheaper because they're selling your data...
    What? No sir, you are so misinformed. Like Soli alluded to none of the smart speakers are "listening" any differently than Apple's HomePod. All initial voice-processing is done on-device and nothing is sent to a company server until your wake-phrase has been recognized. Google Home, Alexa and Siri all work the same way in that regard. 
    Soli
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