Apple again said to cut HomePod orders on poor sales performance

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited April 12
A report out of China citing supply chain sources claims that Apple is already reducing its sales forecast for the HomePod, and is cutting orders for the next few months.

Apple HomePod in white


A report in The China Times claims that Apple began cutting HomePod orders in March, with its shipment forecast for the second quarter dropping from 500,000 units to 200,000 units. The China Times story cites Inventec Assembly Factory, upper lid module foundry Ruiyi, cable supplier Liangwei and soft board supplier Taichi as suppliers affected by the move.

The China Times story is in line with a Bloomberg report Wednesday, which specifically cited the cut to Inventec, also in March. Questions, however, have been raised about the accuracy of those channel checks.

It isn't clear if the China Times and Bloomberg used the same sources for the reports on the matter, nor is it clear if the reports are based on part orders or assembly orders. The China Times has a poor track record on predicting Apple's product plans including sales volumes, but reports generated on the supply chain by the publication are generally accurate.

Apple will not break out sales of the speaker itself, in much the same way that it doesn't disclose Apple Watch sales.

The reports continue several months of varying news for the HomePod, which launched in February after a months-long delay. While the speaker has been praised for the quality of its sound, including in AppleInsider's review, the HomePod has been criticized for the lack of accuracy of the speaker's Siri functionality. There have also been complaints from HomePod owners who say a recent firmware update affected the speaker's sound quality.





Apple is reportedly working on a cheaper model of the HomePod for release later this year.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 81
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,114member
    The HomePod is a case study in how NOT to launch a product.    They pre-announced early for an awkward shipping month (December).  This date was missed and a few months later they deliver missing a bunch of features (Airplay 2, stereo pairing, HomeKit access) 

    The HomePod should have been kept on ice until all the features were ready and all the Airplay 2 partners were within 2 weeks of firmware updates for Airplay 2.   This way the HomePod could have been marketed as a stand alone product or the "must have" accessory for your Airplay 2 compatible AVR or system .

    For a company that has delivered scale in iOS device distribution it's perplexing that they've made so many gaffes outside of the iPhone/iPad ecosystem. 
    supadav03rogifan_newSendMcjakSoligatorguyboltsfan17patchythepiratecbrookerlarryah2p
  • Reply 2 of 81
    Still loving my HomePods! That it is the best sounding smart speaker goes without saying and my HomeKit and Apple Music experience with the platform has been top-notch. I'm hoping this product stays around for a long time and I'm inclined to believe that rumored Siri improvements (hopefully announced at WWDC) which have been indicated by reports of Apple beefing up the personal assistant's team should go along way to ensure that. Fingers crossed!
    macplusplush2pwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 81
    tylersdadtylersdad Posts: 101member
    Still loving my HomePods! That it is the best sounding smart speaker goes without saying and my HomeKit and Apple Music experience with the platform has been top-notch. I'm hoping this product stays around for a long time and I'm inclined to believe that rumored Siri improvements (hopefully announced at WWDC) which have been indicated by reports of Apple beefing up the personal assistant's team should go along way to ensure that. Fingers crossed!
    Seriously? Fingers crossed? Many of us are still waiting for FaceTime to become an open standard...like Jobs promised back in 2010.

    "We're going to the standards bodies, starting tomorrow, and we're going to make FaceTime an open industry standard."
    SendMcjakbloggerblogairnerd
  • Reply 4 of 81
    zonezone Posts: 43member
    It a good product. Best out there IMO and yes a few features are needed but once we have that... you guys do know that Amazon and Google don't make any profits selling there cheap smart speakers. Apple will slowly roll over them and win the market like they always do... same old song and dance. If this was not an Apple product people would be saying how great it is!
    StrangeDaysh2paegeanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 81
    roakeroake Posts: 528member
    I did my part to support them.  I have an Alexa and a HomePod.  The HomePod and Alexa speakers aren’t even comparable.  HomePod blows Alexa away.  My next speaker with be Apple as well.
    edited April 12 macplusplusStrangeDaysminisu1980watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 81
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,599member
    The HomePod is a case study in how NOT to launch a product.    They pre-announced early for an awkward shipping month (December).  This date was missed and a few months later they deliver missing a bunch of features (Airplay 2, stereo pairing, HomeKit access) 

    The HomePod should have been kept on ice until all the features were ready and all the Airplay 2 partners were within 2 weeks of firmware updates for Airplay 2.   This way the HomePod could have been marketed as a stand alone product or the "must have" accessory for your Airplay 2 compatible AVR or system .

    For a company that has delivered scale in iOS device distribution it's perplexing that they've made so many gaffes outside of the iPhone/iPad ecosystem. 
    It sure seems like the focus is on iPhone and everything else takes a back seat.
    hmurchisonzeus423muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 81
    SendMcjakSendMcjak Posts: 52unconfirmed, member
    zone said:
    ... If this was not an Apple product people would be saying how great it is!
    Apparently, a fairly small number of people who actually bought one.

    HomePod is a well-engineered product with fairly poor market fit + a terrible launch strategy.
    edited April 12 zeus423larryapatchythepirateairnerdMplsP
  • Reply 8 of 81
    seankillseankill Posts: 337member
    It might be a good speaker but that’s it. Siri is not a selling feature, Apple is woefully behind in the voice assistant realm. Worse, their software launches have been google-like. I hope iOS12 focuses on improving the software, not adding features to have features. Like gimmick Animojis. 
    edited April 12 SendMcjakcbrookertokyojimuh2ppatchythepirateairnerd
  • Reply 9 of 81
    bill42bill42 Posts: 115member
    SendMcjak said:
    zone said:
    ... If this was not an Apple product people would be saying how great it is!
    Apparently, a fairly small number of people who actually bought one.

    HomePod is a well-engineered product with fairly poor market fit + a terrible launch strategy.
    I would buy two of them or maybe three if you could use voice commands to tell the home pods to play any songs in your main computer's iTunes library. Alas that only works if you pay a monthly subscription to Apple Music. No thanks Apple.
    jason leavitth2p
  • Reply 10 of 81
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,114member
    SendMcjak said:
    zone said:
    ... If this was not an Apple product people would be saying how great it is!


    HomePod is a well-engineered product with fairly poor market fit + a terrible launch strategy.
    The market fit is phenomenal.   What the HomePod is supposed to do is be the multiroom audio controller for 
    a wide variety of vendor products.  As of now the system with the most vendor support is DTS Play-fi and it's 
    software is some of the weakest out there but it's nice to have a choice of hardware.  

    The HomePods value increases sharply when we understand how many existing products can be upgrade to Airplay 2 and 
    how the benefits of audio support in HomeKit play out.   Right now it's hard to see the  value over a more mature platform 
    like Sonos. 
    h2pDoctorQ
  • Reply 11 of 81
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 1,916member
    bill42 said:
    SendMcjak said:
    zone said:
    ... If this was not an Apple product people would be saying how great it is!
    Apparently, a fairly small number of people who actually bought one.

    HomePod is a well-engineered product with fairly poor market fit + a terrible launch strategy.
    I would buy two of them or maybe three if you could use voice commands to tell the home pods to play any songs in your main computer's iTunes library. Alas that only works if you pay a monthly subscription to Apple Music. No thanks Apple.
    I'm not sure, but I think you can do this if you buy the $25/yr iTunes Match service. Seems odd to need to do this.

    The subscription fee is the backbreaker for me. I hate those. I'd be interested if you could do what you say without the match subscription. Fairly, it isn't that $25 is outrageous - it is sort of the principle. 
    airnerd
  • Reply 12 of 81
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 233member
    The total addressable market for HomePod is the 40 Million Apple Music subscribers. I would not expect all of them to need one or want one. We have one, it is outstanding at what it does. But until it either does a whole lot more or offers support for services other than Apple Music it will be a nitch device. An excellent nitch device, but none the less a nitch device.
    paisleydiscoairnerd
  • Reply 13 of 81
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,362member
    tylersdad said:
    Still loving my HomePods! That it is the best sounding smart speaker goes without saying and my HomeKit and Apple Music experience with the platform has been top-notch. I'm hoping this product stays around for a long time and I'm inclined to believe that rumored Siri improvements (hopefully announced at WWDC) which have been indicated by reports of Apple beefing up the personal assistant's team should go along way to ensure that. Fingers crossed!
    Seriously? Fingers crossed? Many of us are still waiting for FaceTime to become an open standard...like Jobs promised back in 2010.

    "We're going to the standards bodies, starting tomorrow, and we're going to make FaceTime an open industry standard."
    Gruber has written about this. According to his sources Jobs came up with that on his own w/o clearing it past the team and didn't know about the barriers to doing it. (Perhaps these IP issues we're reading about in lawsuit stories here).

    https://daringfireball.net/linked/2011/05/11/facetime-standard
    edited April 12 patchythepiratewatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 81
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,362member

    seankill said:
    It might be a good speaker but that’s it. Siri is not a selling feature, Apple is woefully behind in the voice assistant realm. Worse, their software launches have been google-like. I hope iOS12 focuses on improving the software, not adding features to have features. Like gimmick Animojis. 
    FIrst, that's exactly how the HP is marketed -- as a high-quality speaker for music, not a voice assistant. This is exactly what appeals to me about it, not gimmicky shout-outs to a dumb digital assistant. I know people want to hail assistants as technology marvels, but they're all quite silly still. Anything more than a simple request is currently best served on a screen and input device.

    Second, people seem to like animoji. I doubt their inclusion detracts from other improvements to the software. 

    Anyway, the HP has incredible sound in small package, which is exactly what I wanted.
    edited April 12 JFC_PApscooter63propodwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 81
    thrangthrang Posts: 681member
    We have three so far, and they're great. Voice commands work fine - and voice control is, regardless of who's solution, vastly overrated right now in terms of importance. And I can ask Siri to play songs that I know are not in Apple Music but in my library and they play - I do not subscribe to iTunes Match (expired in November)
    edited April 12 pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 81
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,362member

    bill42 said:
    SendMcjak said:
    zone said:
    ... If this was not an Apple product people would be saying how great it is!
    Apparently, a fairly small number of people who actually bought one.

    HomePod is a well-engineered product with fairly poor market fit + a terrible launch strategy.
    I would buy two of them or maybe three if you could use voice commands to tell the home pods to play any songs in your main computer's iTunes library. Alas that only works if you pay a monthly subscription to Apple Music. No thanks Apple.
    False. You do not need to pay a monthly subscription to AM in order to use voice commands. You can do an annual Match subscription which is 25 bucks which puts your library on the cloud for the HP to stream it from. Or playback anything you bought on iTunes for free. 

    Why people keep perpetuating this FUD is a mystery.
    edited April 12 king editor the gratepscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 81
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,259member
    seankill said:
    It might be a good speaker but that’s it. Siri is not a selling feature, Apple is woefully behind in the voice assistant realm. Worse, their software launches have been google-like. I hope iOS12 focuses on improving the software, not adding features to have features. Like gimmick Animojis. 
    Siri is not a selling feature on the iPhone either yet that sells hundreds of millions. There is no such thing as voice assistant “realm”, that is an urban legend. If you need a voice assistant there it is, in the palm of your hand.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 81
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,362member

    eightzero said:
    bill42 said:
    SendMcjak said:
    zone said:
    ... If this was not an Apple product people would be saying how great it is!
    Apparently, a fairly small number of people who actually bought one.

    HomePod is a well-engineered product with fairly poor market fit + a terrible launch strategy.
    I would buy two of them or maybe three if you could use voice commands to tell the home pods to play any songs in your main computer's iTunes library. Alas that only works if you pay a monthly subscription to Apple Music. No thanks Apple.
    I'm not sure, but I think you can do this if you buy the $25/yr iTunes Match service. Seems odd to need to do this.

    The subscription fee is the backbreaker for me. I hate those. I'd be interested if you could do what you say without the match subscription. Fairly, it isn't that $25 is outrageous - it is sort of the principle. 
    The reason for the $25 fee isn't for the voice commands, it's for the source of the stream -- hosting it on the cloud. If your local iTunes computer is powered down, your requests would fail and there's no music. With a Match subscription your entire music library is in iCloud Music Library, giving the HP access to it at any time. 

    Are you saying you expect Apple to host everyone's entire multi-gigabyte libraries in the cloud for free? Or are you saying you'd prefer HP to stream it from your Mac and be unable to playback if it's sleeping/off?
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 81
    bill42 said:
    SendMcjak said:
    zone said:
    ... If this was not an Apple product people would be saying how great it is!
    Apparently, a fairly small number of people who actually bought one.

    HomePod is a well-engineered product with fairly poor market fit + a terrible launch strategy.
    I would buy two of them or maybe three if you could use voice commands to tell the home pods to play any songs in your main computer's iTunes library. Alas that only works if you pay a monthly subscription to Apple Music. No thanks Apple.
    You CAN access your iTunes library from the HomePod. I do not (nor do I have any intention of subscribing to any media channel) have Apple Music.
  • Reply 20 of 81
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,362member
    jdgaz said:
    The total addressable market for HomePod is the 40 Million Apple Music subscribers. I would not expect all of them to need one or want one. We have one, it is outstanding at what it does. But until it either does a whole lot more or offers support for services other than Apple Music it will be a nitch device. An excellent nitch device, but none the less a nitch device.
    It's like nobody has ever heard of the AirPlay speaker market -- which existed before AM was even a thing. There is a legitimate use case for wifi speakers running over AP, regardless of music streaming services. I paid $300 for a stand-alone AP speaker.
    watto_cobra
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