HomePod sold out on online Apple Store as refresh rumors swirl [u]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2020
Apple's online storefront is sold out of both black and white HomePods in the U.S., with the abrupt change in availability arriving amid rumors of a hardware refresh.

HomePod


As of Thursday, Apple's HomePod is no longer available to purchase from the online Apple Store in the U.S. More interesting is the apparent same-day stockout of both black and white colorways, a situation that rarely occurs aside from new product launches.

Apple does not supply an estimated shipping date, saying only that the device is "sold out." Whether the company plans to discontinue the product or is simply awaiting information from the supply chain is unclear. Other countries, like China, Japan and the UK still show availability, though ship-by dates vary from five days to about a month.

Certain brick-and-mortar Apple Stores in the U.S. -- at least those that have reopened following coronavirus closures -- are showing stock on hand, though it remains unknown if Apple is continuously supplying stores with additional sale units.

The change in stock status comes a month after reports indicated Apple is working on a smaller, cheaper smart speaker that could debut later this year.

Expected for unveiling at Apple's annual iPhone launch event this fall, the next-generation device is rumored share a design with the original, albeit at about half the size. Additional capabilities like integration of new music services are also anticipated.

Most recently, HomePod in January reached customers in India nearly two years after the product first went up for sale. Apple earlier this month began to point customers to resellers that are pricing the device at slightly below U.S. costs, a rarity in a country that typically sees the tech giant's products sell at a significant premium.

MacRumors spotted the change in U.S. availability earlier today.

Those in the market for a HomePod, and who are unable to visit an Apple Store, can find them online at retailers like B&H Photo.

Update: HomePod is back in stock on Apple's storefront.

Stay on top of all Apple news right from your HomePod or HomePod mini. Say, "Hey, Siri, play AppleInsider Daily," and you'll get a fast update direct from the AppleInsider team.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    muaddibmuaddib Posts: 81member
    I hope the put an A13 processor in the new HomePod so I can listen to my music faster.
    chasmbageljoeyrazorpitdewmetnet-primarykudujahbladejony0muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 2 of 18
    I’m anxious to see what all these start up acquisitions will do for Siri on the HomePod.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    Scot1Scot1 Posts: 121member
    Hoping for an upgrade with fetters Siri knowledge. Getting kind of tired that Siri can’t do this on HomePod
    elijahgflyingdp
  • Reply 4 of 18
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 786member
    While I enjoy my HomePods (mostly - following a poor initial experience due to software bugs), I think they're about $100 too expensive. The sound-to-price ratio of my Sonos One and Amazon Echo devices makes it tough to choose the HomePods. I find the HomePod to be batter for music in terms of quality and playing what I ask for, but the Echo is more useful as a "smart speaker". I find that I tend to use my Echo Show 8's most often even though the sound quality isn't as good as the HomePod.
    flyingdp
  • Reply 5 of 18
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,222member
    zroger73 said:
    While I enjoy my HomePods (mostly - following a poor initial experience due to software bugs), I think they're about $100 too expensive. The sound-to-price ratio of my Sonos One and Amazon Echo devices makes it tough to choose the HomePods. I find the HomePod to be batter for music in terms of quality and playing what I ask for, but the Echo is more useful as a "smart speaker". I find that I tend to use my Echo Show 8's most often even though the sound quality isn't as good as the HomePod.
    Your point about the Echo being a better vocal assistant is well taken, but do bear in mind that some portion of the "extra" cost of the HomePod is because Apple -- unlike Amazon and Google -- are not harvesting and selling your data. For what I ask my HomePod to do (basic stuff and of course various media requests), it rarely misfires (though you need to be pretty precise in your request for a given podcast or radio station, I find).

    I suspect that an upgraded HomePod, if one appears, will mostly be adding strong machine-learning and AI that the A8 or its subsystems just can't handle. I'm not sure if Apple can produce a HomePod that's dramatically smaller than the present one and still get such amazing sound out of it, but clearly the market for "smart speakers that can play music really well" is a tiny fraction of the "smart speaker that can do silly novelty tricks, some of which are useful" market ...
    edited May 2020 razorpitjahbladebakedbananas
  • Reply 6 of 18
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    chasm said:
    zroger73 said:
    While I enjoy my HomePods (mostly - following a poor initial experience due to software bugs), I think they're about $100 too expensive. The sound-to-price ratio of my Sonos One and Amazon Echo devices makes it tough to choose the HomePods. I find the HomePod to be batter for music in terms of quality and playing what I ask for, but the Echo is more useful as a "smart speaker". I find that I tend to use my Echo Show 8's most often even though the sound quality isn't as good as the HomePod.
    Your point about the Echo being a better vocal assistant is well taken, but do bear in mind that some portion of the "extra" cost of the HomePod is because Apple -- unlike Amazon and Google -- are not harvesting and selling your data. For what I ask my HomePod to do (basic stuff and of course various media requests), it rarely misfires (though you need to be pretty precise in your request for a given podcast or radio station, I find).

    I suspect that an upgraded HomePod, if one appears, will mostly be adding strong machine-learning and AI that the A8 or its subsystems just can't handle. I'm not sure if Apple can produce a HomePod that's dramatically smaller than the present one and still get such amazing sound out of it, but clearly the market for "smart speakers that can play music really well" is a tiny fraction of the "smart speaker that can do silly novelty tricks, some of which are useful" market ...
    I agree on the harvesting points but have to disagree on the misfires. I have the guilty please of listening to a lot of 70’s-early 90’s punk rock. Siri is terrible. My son and daughter (11 & 7) know the band All better than Siri. And could find a better Charged G.B.H.song faster than Siri Could ever dream of. That’s all server based stuff that will never be fixed because it ain’t hip hop.

    Add in the often “I can’t do that on HomePod.” response and breakdowns with AppleTV and it’s easy to have a love-hate relationship with HomePod. It’s like my old MGB, it was great when it was running but....
    elijahg
  • Reply 7 of 18
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 838member
    I dont know, I don’t have issues w my stereo homepod. Used w siri, tv speakers for movies, musics....must be minority 
    mike1williamlondonuraharakudujahbladejony0bakedbananas
  • Reply 8 of 18
    caladaniancaladanian Posts: 378member
    chasm said:
    zroger73 said:
    ...
    I'm not sure if Apple can produce a HomePod that's dramatically smaller than the present one and still get such amazing sound out of it, but clearly the market for "smart speakers that can play music really well" is a tiny fraction of the "smart speaker that can do silly novelty tricks, some of which are useful" market ...
    Amazing sound? I’m underwhelmed of the quality my two HomePods deliver. Bass is king but mushy. Don’t change size and looks!
    williamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 18
    I can’t rule out that they are so ashamed for the HP bluetooth limitations that the current inventtory got annihilated
    elijahgwilliamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 18
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,753member
    chasm said:
    zroger73 said:
    While I enjoy my HomePods (mostly - following a poor initial experience due to software bugs), I think they're about $100 too expensive. The sound-to-price ratio of my Sonos One and Amazon Echo devices makes it tough to choose the HomePods. I find the HomePod to be batter for music in terms of quality and playing what I ask for, but the Echo is more useful as a "smart speaker". I find that I tend to use my Echo Show 8's most often even though the sound quality isn't as good as the HomePod.
    Your point about the Echo being a better vocal assistant is well taken, but do bear in mind that some portion of the "extra" cost of the HomePod is because Apple -- unlike Amazon and Google -- are not harvesting and selling your data. For what I ask my HomePod to do (basic stuff and of course various media requests), it rarely misfires (though you need to be pretty precise in your request for a given podcast or radio station, I find).

    I suspect that an upgraded HomePod, if one appears, will mostly be adding strong machine-learning and AI that the A8 or its subsystems just can't handle. I'm not sure if Apple can produce a HomePod that's dramatically smaller than the present one and still get such amazing sound out of it, but clearly the market for "smart speakers that can play music really well" is a tiny fraction of the "smart speaker that can do silly novelty tricks, some of which are useful" market ...
    The privacy stuff doesn’t excuse Siri being so crap though. Not entirely HP related but I had an iMessage come in with AirPods on, and Siri informed me it wouldn’t read longer messages unless I say “read it”. So immediately after I said “read it”, and Siri said “there’s nothing to read”... So I asked it to read my message from John, which it did, and then after it finished it said “uh oh, there’s something wrong. Please try again”. It’s actually getting worse over time not better. It’s embarrassingly bad. 

    It seems to me they’re relying a bit too much on AI in some places without enough rules in place to prevent it learning bad habits. The iOS keyboard has got worse since AI was added to it, it now quite frequently corrects words that were correct to begin with. Typing “AirPods on” above was autocorrected to be lower case. 

    Also since 100% of Siri processing is sent to Apple’s servers (another sticking point with Siri, why is nothing local so it works with a poor or no connection) if they do add ML to the HomePod I’m not sure it’ll help. And then they’ll use that as an excuse not to fix Siri on current ones. 
    edited May 2020 williamlondon
  • Reply 11 of 18
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,264member
    muaddib said:
    I hope the put an A13 processor in the new HomePod so I can listen to my music faster.
    Oh yeah! We really do need to expand the chipmunk music genre significantly. - Alvin
    zroger73pscooter63jahbladebakedbananas
  • Reply 12 of 18
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Nice update.

    ”Update: HomePod is back in stock on Apple's storefront.”

    So... no need at all for this story?
    uraharapscooter63elijahgGilliam_BatesBeats
  • Reply 13 of 18
    I'm curious where Apple is going to go with Home Pod. I imagine that it will be similar to Apple TV where the Apple figures out how people are using it and then takes it in a different direction with the second generation. 
  • Reply 14 of 18
    uraharaurahara Posts: 733member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    I dont know, I don’t have issues w my stereo homepod. Used w siri, tv speakers for movies, musics....must be minority 
    I also have stereo homepods. No issues. 
    jahblade
  • Reply 15 of 18
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    I'm curious where Apple is going to go with Home Pod. I imagine that it will be similar to Apple TV where the Apple figures out how people are using it and then takes it in a different direction with the second generation. 

    The problem is people comparing them to 20 buck spyware speakers. Apple really wants the speaker market in general. A better comparison is Sonos than some Google/Amazon peeping tom.

    Apple needs to continue to differentiate. 
    bakedbananas
  • Reply 16 of 18
    Been holding on waiting and hoping a model less focussed on sound would appear. Or at least I’d be able to control Spotify to play over Sonos on one 
  • Reply 17 of 18
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,927member
    I'm curious where Apple is going to go with Home Pod. I imagine that it will be similar to Apple TV where the Apple figures out how people are using it and then takes it in a different direction with the second generation. 
    They should have one HomePod driving a series of smaller speakers across the Wifi network. I’m sure these could be less expensive.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    otacorbotacorb Posts: 20member
    I purchased from Best Buy for $199. Got two for stereo.  They sound great, but Siri is dismal at best. Response time is slow and most often she gets it wrong or comes back with I don’t know that crap.  During the holidays I had purchase two Echo studio’s for $159 intro price. Alexa is much more responsive and actually works much better with my Philip Hue lighting and plugs.  I think this is because not everything is sever based like Siri.  The sound quality is pretty close to HomePod and I am happy with it. You hear so much about privacy issues and harvesting info with Amazon which is why I opted to bother with the Apple HomePod.  In the end I returned the Apple HomePod’s.  I will stick with my Amazon Echo Studios.  Privacy these days is not guaranteed no matter what service or provider you use. Today I Subscribed to Amazon Music Trial.  HD and 3D sound is great to my old ears. The nice thing is Echo Studio works with just about all music services so my Apple subscription works as well. Now I get to choose and this thing actually allows you to connect via Bluetooth.  

    HomePod FORGET ABOUT IT! LOL 
    edited May 2020 elijahg
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