Apple considers cheaper HomePod in face of lackluster sales

124

Comments

  • Reply 61 of 95
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,695member
    cwoody said:
    What did they expect? They made a super niche speaker that’s super pricey and not at all portable or really compatible outside of apples ecosystem. Like I’ve never had the urge to buy a Sonos speaker, because I’ve always had an actual home entertainment system at home. And between Siri being half baked and having lots of inadequacies and HomeKit still feels like a beta, it’s not really worth it from a smart speaker perspective either. You basically need an iOS device to use it... which you can literally use for all of the hey Siri commands on their own. So you’re basically limiting it to someone who wants a very limited stationary speaker with good sound quality and who want to pay a premium for it. I can’t think of a single use for a HomePod in my house and I’m sure a lot of others feel exactly the same way.
    The HomePod was never meant to be a portable speaker. Even the speakers from the competition such as Amazon and Google aren't portable either. I have no clue why people always complain the HomePod isn't portable. There is a separate market for portable speakers. 
    Sure there are portable smart-speakers. I use a Google Home-equipped battery-powered portable JBL Link 20 next to the outdoor kitchen when grilling as well as on the rear patio. There's another by Bose that a friend of mine has. They both sound pretty good (the Bose maybe a little cleaner but hard to tell playing different music). Outdoors without walls to reflect off I would doubt something like a HomePod or Google Max would sound much better if at all. 

  • Reply 62 of 95
    I think my fav argument about the HomePod is that it is too expensive. Classic. Also, those calling HP a failure bc they have a billion ios users. How many gmail accts and Android users are out there?  Amazon accts? The entire smart speaker market is a flop based on that logic.

    How many Google Home will be sold this year? How many are attached to the purchase of a dishwasher or washer/dryer or a free with a smartphone? Echo dot sales were rampant over the holidays been dead quiet on reports since... hmmm maybe sales in Jan/Feb/March quarter are less... not that odd is it? 

    These comment sections bc of day-to-day rumours make things like voice assistants seem way more important in todays market then they actually are. We are a few years away yet. All players in this space have time to improve.
    cornchip
  • Reply 63 of 95
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,544member
    When apple considers releasing a cheaper version, it's considered "desperate." When Amazon /Google releases cheaper versions, it's called "smart business."
    tallest skilcornchipelijahgpscooter63
  • Reply 64 of 95
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,630member
    jungmark said:
    When apple considers releasing a cheaper version, it's considered "desperate." When Amazon /Google releases cheaper versions, it's called "smart business."
    Is that a common sentiment? On this forum I've mostly heard it the other way when the Echo Dot gets mentioned. I think @rogifan_new is the only one that implied that the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle a "race to the bottom," but that's a false equilviancy. Less expensive doesn't mean it's a bad product, just as a less expensive ARM-based Mac doesn't mean Apple is "racing to the bottom."

    While I think that a larger HomePod could easily happen, I think that a smaller HomePod is more likely to occur first. Even if the HomePod firmware and Siri were the best on the market I wouldn't be spending $350 a pop to put one in every room… and I want a digital personal assistant in every room. Bottom line, I won't be satisfied until I'm Tony Stark talking telling Jarvis what to do.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 65 of 95
    FolioFolio Posts: 281member
    Soli said:


    By comparison, Amazon's Echo was amazing from day one despite having no prior experience in this field and a litany of failed CE before it. I don't feel Apple should be the worst digital personal assistant in the game and yet I couldn't tell you any new commands to try so I'm left with doing the same, simplistic tasks that I've been doing for years.

    Being Friday, I received my "What’s new with Alexa?" email which details new commands, current event commands, a list of the most requested commands, and Skills to try. Being a mostly display-less device I feel  this is extremely important feature (read: out-of-sight, out-of-mind), but of course they have an app and website which allows for all this to be viewed, plus being able to see and rate the queries you've made. I feel that if Apple had allowed users to rate and correct Siri requests they'd be able to have move Siri much further ahead. I hope things change within the Siri camp soon.
    It seems I've been getting more emails this year on Apple services, promos, etc. A weekly "What's new with Siri?" is one I would regularly read. 

    I believe Apple asks each user if they wish to opt in to contribute to Siri analytics. They must have a slew of anonymized data. Wouldn't surprise me if even more than Amazon and Google on their assistants. And of course the iOS is their ace in the hole in the rivalry.

    SiriLover
  • Reply 66 of 95
    FolioFolio Posts: 281member
    Apple -- AAPL-Nasdaq Buy -- Price $173.25 on April 10 by Guggenheim

    We see Apple's recent hiring away of Google's artificial-intelligence, or AI, chief as a major move in its redoubling of its position among the leading developers of machine learning, or ML, technologies. We also continue to believe that Apple is ultimately set up to differentiate itself by pushing to run more AI at the so-called edge of the network, as laid out in our March 2 deep-dive report, with billions of Internet of Things--enabled devices frictionlessly attached to the cloud.

    From a positioning standpoint, we see Apple's hardware and software integration built on selling devices rather than cloud services, so expect its AI/ML to stay focused on making its products more intuitive (better), not conduits to monetizing something else. We also track Apple job postings and have seen a three times increase in mentions of Siri and ML engineering positions over the past four months. We reiterate our Buy rating and $215 price target.


    [Apologies for reposting. I couldn't highlight this in an edit for some reason.]

  • Reply 67 of 95
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,231member
    iPod Nano and Shuffle say Hi.
    “Is that three HomePod Nano in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?”
    cornchip
  • Reply 68 of 95
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,058member
    nunzy said:
    Apple will never join a race to the bottom.  If anything, they will come out with a Homepod Pro.
    And the “cheaper” version will turn out to be the gen 1 hardware sold at a discount. Like Apple always does.

    How one gets title of “analyst” is a mystery to me.
  • Reply 69 of 95
    Lab4UsLab4Us Posts: 28member
    Folio said:

    Here's a snippet from analyst service. Italics added:

    Apple -- AAPL-Nasdaq Buy -- Price $173.25 on April 10 by Guggenheim

    We see Apple's recent hiring away of Google's artificial-intelligence, or AI, chief as a major move in its redoubling of its position among the leading developers of machine learning, or ML, technologies. We also continue to believe that Apple is ultimately set up to differentiate itself by pushing to run more AI at the so-called edge of the network, as laid out in our March 2 deep-dive report, with billions of Internet of Things--enabled devices frictionlessly attached to the cloud.

    From a positioning standpoint, we see Apple's hardware and software integration built on selling devices rather than cloud services, so expect its AI/ML to stay focused on making its products more intuitive (better), not conduits to monetizing something else. We also track Apple job postings and have seen a three times increase in mentions of Siri and ML engineering positions over the past four months. We reiterate our Buy rating and $215 price target.

    I think you should have also emphasized “, not conduits to monetizing something else.”  I think we all know that monetizing other things is the bread and butter of Google and Amazon!
  • Reply 70 of 95
    cwoodycwoody Posts: 5member
    cwoody said:
    What did they expect? They made a super niche speaker that’s super pricey and not at all portable or really compatible outside of apples ecosystem. Like I’ve never had the urge to buy a Sonos speaker, because I’ve always had an actual home entertainment system at home. And between Siri being half baked and having lots of inadequacies and HomeKit still feels like a beta, it’s not really worth it from a smart speaker perspective either. You basically need an iOS device to use it... which you can literally use for all of the hey Siri commands on their own. So you’re basically limiting it to someone who wants a very limited stationary speaker with good sound quality and who want to pay a premium for it. I can’t think of a single use for a HomePod in my house and I’m sure a lot of others feel exactly the same way.
    The HomePod was never meant to be a portable speaker. Even the speakers from the competition such as Amazon and Google aren't portable either. I have no clue why people always complain the HomePod isn't portable. There is a separate market for portable speakers. 
    You missed about 90% of what I said and focused on just 1 thing. Good job. HomePod is currently crap because it fails miserably as a smart speaker, not because it fails as a speaker. That is for sure something that they can update through updates to Siri and HomeKit as the hardware side is there, but I think that most people are like me and look at it currently is mainly a small speaker. I honestly don’t have a single place in my layout which it would meet my requirements. If I’m getting a small smart speaker, I want it to be smart. I’m a die hard Apple fanboy and use Siri daily and it’s honestly terrible. I can’t even share the current playing song on Apple Music with my wife through Siri while I’m driving... that’s all Apple owned systems and I can’t share between them. Like I said Sonos who seems to be their target competitor here doesn’t meet any of my requirements either, so it fails my test of what I want from a speaker and what I want from a smart assistant. I’d much rather have a cheaper HomePod with good Siri, then a speaker I have no place for in my life and bad Siri for 3x what others mart speaker competitors charge.
  • Reply 71 of 95
    cwoodycwoody Posts: 5member
    lkrupp said:
    cwoody said:
    What did they expect? They made a super niche speaker that’s super pricey and not at all portable or really compatible outside of apples ecosystem. Like I’ve never had the urge to buy a Sonos speaker, because I’ve always had an actual home entertainment system at home. And between Siri being half baked and having lots of inadequacies and HomeKit still feels like a beta, it’s not really worth it from a smart speaker perspective either. You basically need an iOS device to use it... which you can literally use for all of the hey Siri commands on their own. So you’re basically limiting it to someone who wants a very limited stationary speaker with good sound quality and who want to pay a premium for it. I can’t think of a single use for a HomePod in my house and I’m sure a lot of others feel exactly the same way.
    Nice troll.
    Lol not a troll. Man you guys are stupid. My whole life is Apple and they release 1 piece of hardware I’m critical of and you guys get all sad lol Sorry for speaking my mind of why I’m critical of this piece of hardware and how I feel Apple could improve it (fix Siri and HomeKit)
    SiriLoversingularitygatorguycornchip
  • Reply 72 of 95
    cwoodycwoody Posts: 5member
    jcs2305 said:
    cwoody said:
    What did they expect? They made a super niche speaker that’s super pricey and not at all portable or really compatible outside of apples ecosystem. Like I’ve never had the urge to buy a Sonos speaker, because I’ve always had an actual home entertainment system at home. And between Siri being half baked and having lots of inadequacies and HomeKit still feels like a beta, it’s not really worth it from a smart speaker perspective either. You basically need an iOS device to use it... which you can literally use for all of the hey Siri commands on their own. So you’re basically limiting it to someone who wants a very limited stationary speaker with good sound quality and who want to pay a premium for it. I can’t think of a single use for a HomePod in my house and I’m sure a lot of others feel exactly the same way.
    What I expect is the continuing influx of single post trolls talking S*** about a speaker they don't own, and continually quote incorrect info or compare it to a HT setup. There are many places in the home or office that just aren't suitable for a freakin home entertainment system my god the idiocy is just too much.
    You’re pathetic, I’m all Apple in my life (MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, iPhone X, Apple Watch 3, Multiple Apple tv’s, etc with lots of HomeKit stuff). And just because I’m critical of how bad Siri actually is and home much HomeKit leaves to be desired, I’m not allowed to be critical of 1 of their items. You’re pathetic for not wanting to admit that until the HomePod gets some software updates it’s missing its mark. Like I said, for me I have zero places I would place a Sonos speaker in my home, so I’m not buying it for it’s speaker capabilities and I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay 3x the amount of competitors for it as a smart speaker when Siri is still as bad as it is. I use Siri every day usually while I’m driving and it’s just not very good at tasks you’d think it should be able to handle. I get that Apple can fix that in a firmware update, but currently it fails my needs for a speaker and it fails my needs as a smart assistant. My house is littered with iPads and iPhones and my wrist always has my Apple Watch if I really need Siri, but I don’t find it works that well and it’s frustrating when you ask it for something you’d expect it to be able to handle and it just can’t. Sorry I never made an account before today to comment (thus making me a troll apparently), but I can assure you that I’ve been reading Apple insider since about the iPhone 4 days.
    SiriLover
  • Reply 73 of 95
    19831983 Posts: 1,039member
    Of course this won’t happen...not anytime soon anyway. But if Apple allowed third party music streaming and AI assistants via apps like the iPhone and Watch. The HomePod could be huge. Still I’m waiting to see how it does with a wider international introduction and the release (finally!) of AirPlay 2 and stereo pairing, before coming to conclusions and considering a purchase myself. If nothing else, I wish Apple would allow an alternative to Siri which is still sub-par compared to the competition despite being the longest running AI assistant out there.
  • Reply 74 of 95
    chasmchasm Posts: 620member
    I'm reminded of a few things:

    1. We do not know how many HomePods have actually been sold.
    2. We do not know how many Apple was expecting to sell.
    3. We don't know if this order cut was *perfectly normal behaviour* as it is with iPhones -- Apple always cuts orders after the debut quarter of a new product (with rare exception when demand wildly outstrips supply) because of course the pent-up demand drives up debut-quarter sales.

    What we do know is that analysts tend to judge everything Apple does against the iPhone, and therefore every other product Apple makes is a "flop" if you ask the right analyst.

    We also know that the HomePod isn't actually meant to be a mass-market item, it's meant to be a luxury item. It's not like the Bluetooth speaker market didn't establish some generalities about what quality levels, sound levels, and price levels they view as the sweet spot.

    Finally, we know (from Google!) that 95 percent of smart speaker users use that voice assistant to control music and ask about the weather 95 percent of the time (mileage varies slightly with Alexa products, since it encourages you to buy things through it though data shows most people don't). So despite many bits being wasted talking about the comparitives between Siri and Alexa and Google's no-name assistant, in real-world usage functionality is about the same, with a small adventage to Amazon for those people who also like to shop by talking.

    I'm not buying the rumour of a low-end, cheapo HomePod coming ... my money is on Apple beefing up Siri somewhat this fall, and cutting the price of the current unit temporarily during the holidays.
    edited April 15 macplusplusclarker99mattinoz
  • Reply 75 of 95
    mdjcmmdjcm Posts: 26member
    Reasons I won't buy a HomePod:

    - No use for Siri, and I hear it's bad
    - Doesn't have open Bluetooth connectivity
    - Isn't properly compatible with other music services
    - Cannot simply input any source via optical or 3.5mm jack, that's bad
    - User cannot control the EQ

    I don't actually mind the price at all. £350 is fair for something I'd expect 10 years use from.
    cornchip
  • Reply 76 of 95
    nhtnht Posts: 4,168member
    chaicka said:
    Launch Markets so limited (3 countries only), what do journalists and analysts expect?
    Well I am sure there is a lot of pent up demand in Antigua, Barbados, Iceland and Qatar that will make those numbers jump.

    The speaker is a flop like Apple Music where Apple has been able to convert almost a Billion iTunes accounts to well under 1/10th that many to the rental model after years of giving away trials to anybody with a pulse.

    That speaker is grossly overpriced. I already have an excellent Focal system in my Living Room and allI have to do is connect an Amazon Dot as an input for more features and far higher sound quality. It won’t cost a King’s Ransom, either.

    That speaker is a flop. When it goes stupid out of warranty repairs start at $275. I am sure a lot of people will spend $275 to fix a speaker that costs $350 before discounts. That is kind of like the iPhone X that costs $1000 but only gets you a little over $400 on Gazelle. Or a $5000 iMac. Someone at Apple needs to give the people in the bubble of Silicon Valley a wake up call.
    You hate HomePods, Macs and iPhones...so you are on an Apple tech site why?  Oh trolling, got it.
    bb-15
  • Reply 77 of 95
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 403member
    bitmod said:
    jcs2305 said:
    cwoody said:
    What did they expect? They made a super niche speaker that’s super pricey and not at all portable or really compatible outside of apples ecosystem. Like I’ve never had the urge to buy a Sonos speaker, because I’ve always had an actual home entertainment system at home. And between Siri being half baked and having lots of inadequacies and HomeKit still feels like a beta, it’s not really worth it from a smart speaker perspective either. You basically need an iOS device to use it... which you can literally use for all of the hey Siri commands on their own. So you’re basically limiting it to someone who wants a very limited stationary speaker with good sound quality and who want to pay a premium for it. I can’t think of a single use for a HomePod in my house and I’m sure a lot of others feel exactly the same way.
    What I expect is the continuing influx of single post trolls talking S*** about a speaker they don't own, and continually quote incorrect info or compare it to a HT setup. There are many places in the home or office that just aren't suitable for a freakin home entertainment system my god the idiocy is just too much.
    Lots of people don't own a 1984 Hyundai Pony either - doesn't mean they don't know it's a crap car. 
    And as far as comparing it to a HT setup... it was the typical mob of fanboy's here that flooded the forums with "it sound's better than a $50,000 HT rig" because of beam forming and an array of $3 tweeters... that opened that Pandora's box. 

    Trolling goes both ways Bub. Over-the-top 'Everything Apple is Perfect in every way and your a troll if you disagree'... is trolling in itself. 
    Why are you responding as if we’re directing my comment at you ? What mob of fanboys were here on AI saying that this speaker sounded better than a 50K HT system? I read here almost daily and didn’t see any of that. I saw comments regarding some of the tech inside the HomePod only being found on much more expensive speakers? Maybe that’s what you meant ? 

    I made a comment based on a one post person ripping s product they have never used and feel the need to make it seem completely  useless because it doesn’t fit their  needs. There has been a large uptick in troll comments that are just plain wrong.  Yes trolling does go both ways “bub” and I can assure you my post was not trolling. It was from exhaustion at reading ridiculous negative comments about HomePod from people that seem to be joining AI just to talk trash.  You can go back through my posts regarding HomePod and see multiple people that I corrected who were complaining and trashing it with for things that were just plain wrong. 

    I am am not some super cheerleader and believe Apple is infallible. I will however comment if someone seems to be trolling are just spitting FUD just for the heck of it, or to bring down a good conversation. Which as I originally stated has been increasing here at AI recently. 
  • Reply 78 of 95
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,277member
    cwoody said:
    lkrupp said:
    cwoody said:
    What did they expect? They made a super niche speaker that’s super pricey and not at all portable or really compatible outside of apples ecosystem. Like I’ve never had the urge to buy a Sonos speaker, because I’ve always had an actual home entertainment system at home. And between Siri being half baked and having lots of inadequacies and HomeKit still feels like a beta, it’s not really worth it from a smart speaker perspective either. You basically need an iOS device to use it... which you can literally use for all of the hey Siri commands on their own. So you’re basically limiting it to someone who wants a very limited stationary speaker with good sound quality and who want to pay a premium for it. I can’t think of a single use for a HomePod in my house and I’m sure a lot of others feel exactly the same way.
    Nice troll.
    Lol not a troll. Man you guys are stupid. My whole life is Apple and they release 1 piece of hardware I’m critical of and you guys get all sad lol Sorry for speaking my mind of why I’m critical of this piece of hardware and how I feel Apple could improve it (fix Siri and HomeKit)
    I bet there are people on here who don't have a HP but will attack you when you say you don't and why because of an irrational fear that this will drive the stock price down.

    Hopefully Gianandrea will make some huge improvements in SIRI.   That and the other software improvements to the Hardware would help immensely.   Maybe then I'll pick up 1 or 2.

     


  • Reply 79 of 95
    Analysts and critics seem to enjoy calling Apple products failures for reasons I fail to understand. Isn't it only up to Apple to decide something like that? If no one knows what Apple's internal goals are in terms of sales, then it would be very difficult to say whether the device is actually a failure or not. Surely, no one thinks Apple can sell as many $350 HomePods as Amazon can sell $50 Echo Dots. Amazon must have at least five different Echo devices at varying price points lower than the HomePod. Amazon definitely has a longer lead in selling smart speakers and smart voice assistants. It will probably take a lot of time for the HomePod to catch traction with Siri being as behind as it is. The HomePod doesn't even have a complete set of features as of yet.

    The HomePod has barely been around for six months and yet the critics are quickly calling it a failure based on whatever their personal expectations are. None of their expectations really matter. They should just report sales of a product and leave it at that. They can voice their own opinions as to whether they like a product or not but stop short of calling a product a success or failure. I believe every product should at least have a full year of sales to give it a fair chance. Six months is far too short of a time period. Didn't the HomePod miss the entire Christmas season for sales? The critics and analysts never seem to want to give Apple products a fair chance. If an Apple product doesn't have very high sales from the start, it's always labeled as a failure and that's simply foolish to make that call.
    edited April 16
  • Reply 80 of 95
    mdjcm said:
    Reasons I won't buy a HomePod:

    - No use for Siri, and I hear it's bad
    - Doesn't have open Bluetooth connectivity
    - Isn't properly compatible with other music services
    - Cannot simply input any source via optical or 3.5mm jack, that's bad
    - User cannot control the EQ

    I think it really depends on what your expectations are. I have almost zero complaints with siri on my homepod. It probably gets my requests right 90+% of the time. I find it to be quite accurate and very convenient. I mostly use it to play songs, get song info, get weather info, and set timers and reminders when cooking. 

    It did get something wrong a day or two ago and I got a good chuckle out of it. I was struggling to cancel a reminder from across the room. I made a request, it asked for clarification, I gave clarification, it got it wrong and asked for clarification, and we started talking over each other. I finally muttered the f-word under my breath, and siri said "there's no need for that!". Cracked me up. 

    But yeah, based on the other items mentioned in your post, it's definitely not designed for you. That doesn't make it a bad product per se, just not one designed with someone like you in mind. 
    edited April 16
Sign In or Register to comment.