Apple's first million HomePods now shipping from Inventec - report

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2018
Having missed an original December launch date, the HomePod is finally rolling off the production lines of one of two assembly partners, Inventec, a report said this week.




The Taiwanese firm is working on a relatively small initial shipment of 1 million speakers, according to Taipei Times sources. It's not clear how many units the other assembly partner, Foxconn, is currently rolling out if any.

Together however the two firms are expected to ship between 10 to 12 million units in 2018, splitting orders equally.

Apple postponed the HomePod launch in November, offering only an "early 2018" date with the explanation that the product needed "a little more time before it's ready for our customers."

A subsequent report claimed that Apple had "dithered" during development, going through many iterations and only making the HomePod a full-fledged project in 2014. That year engineers were allegedly "blindsided" by the Amazon Echo, though they considered it to have inferior sound.

The $349 HomePod will be Apple's first voice-controlled smartspeaker, nominally a challenge to the Echo and Google Home. Apple is placing more emphasis on high-quality sound though, and in fact third-party Siri functions will initially be limited to messaging, to-dos, and notes, moreover requiring a paired iPhone or iPad, and compatible iOS apps.
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 64
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,742member
    jsmythe00 said:
    Glad they are back on schedule. Sadly though, I don't see this product being successful. I think they priced themselves out the market. 

    I don't get apple sometimes. Airpods are GREAT. What made them even greater is they priced them extremely compettitve. Same with the iPad. Apple watch was slightly overpriced. But this...it's a crippled device at premium price. 

    Fix the price and allow third party music 
    Agreed. While HomeKit in and of itself seems to be making good inroads with accessory makers, the price of this thing will not help. At this point, now that the market is starting to shake out, ubiquity will be key to driving more 3rd party devices being added. In expensive options from Google and Amazon will drive their ubiquity. Apple has gone in exactly the opposite direction, which may not hurt their sales amongst the faithful, but won't increase their numbers explosively either, which the others have as an advantage for their platforms. Seems like hubris to price a speaker at this price.Might be a great speaker and well worth every penny, but it won't grow the base for HomeKit expansion. 
    edited January 2018 williamlondonh2p
  • Reply 2 of 64
    technotechno Posts: 695member
    jsmythe00 said:
    Glad they are back on schedule. Sadly though, I don't see this product being successful. I think they priced themselves out the market. 

    I don't get apple sometimes. Airpods are GREAT. What made them even greater is they priced them extremely compettitve. Same with the iPad. Apple watch was slightly overpriced. But this...it's a crippled device at premium price. 

    Fix the price and allow third party music 
    Really? I think the price sounds just right. I am usually holding off on the new products and waiting to see. This one, I want right away.
    propodtmaygregg thurmanwilliamlondonracerhomie3jahbladeMathieuWacowichjony0StrangeDaysfastasleep
  • Reply 3 of 64
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,821member
    jsmythe00 said:
    Glad they are back on schedule. Sadly though, I don't see this product being successful. I think they priced themselves out the market. 

    I don't get apple sometimes. Airpods are GREAT. What made them even greater is they priced them extremely compettitve. Same with the iPad. Apple watch was slightly overpriced. But this...it's a crippled device at premium price. 

    Fix the price and allow third party music 
    Price is fine. $350 is not expensive for good audio. It should be a premium product with better sound. They don't have to compete with Amazon's dreck. If there's any significant functionality missing, that's a different story. Not a rush, but I am looking forward to picking one up at some point.
    gregg thurmanwilliamlondonracerhomie3jahbladeh2pjony0StrangeDayswatto_cobrafastasleeplolliver
  • Reply 4 of 64
    If the audio is as good as I expect the price tag is spot on.  It will be interesting to see how the utility of the product plays out...is it just used as a good speaker or will it truly enhance the user experience with voice guided tech.
    gregg thurmancommand_fwilliamlondonracerhomie3jahbladeJWSCh2pjony0watto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 5 of 64
    Just waiting on an order date....
    gregg thurmanjahbladewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 64
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,889member
    mike1 said:
    jsmythe00 said:
    Glad they are back on schedule. Sadly though, I don't see this product being successful. I think they priced themselves out the market. 

    I don't get apple sometimes. Airpods are GREAT. What made them even greater is they priced them extremely compettitve. Same with the iPad. Apple watch was slightly overpriced. But this...it's a crippled device at premium price. 

    Fix the price and allow third party music 
    Price is fine. $350 is not expensive for good audio. It should be a premium product with better sound. They don't have to compete with Amazon's dreck. If there's any significant functionality missing, that's a different story. Not a rush, but I am looking forward to picking one up at some point.
    I agree -- price isn't really a concern for me. 

    Missing the holiday shopping period was a far bigger issue. 

    My hope is that functionality for music will be stellar in terms of sound quality, wireless reliability, and UI. 

    In terms of Siri and HomeKit functionality -- my hope is that it will do a very good job at the set of things that it attempts to do. It would be better to have a limited feature set that works very well than to do a bad job at a wider range of things. 

    These are my hopes.... I have to say I feel a little anxious about whether these hopes will be realized. I convinced my family to forego competing products in this space for Christmas. I don't want to hear "I told you so's" 
    williamlondonh2plolliver
  • Reply 7 of 64
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,711member
    jsmythe00 said:
    Glad they are back on schedule. Sadly though, I don't see this product being successful. I think they priced themselves out the market. 

    I don't get apple sometimes. Airpods are GREAT. What made them even greater is they priced them extremely compettitve. Same with the iPad. Apple watch was slightly overpriced. But this...it's a crippled device at premium price. 

    Fix the price and allow third party music 
    Stop withe overpriced bullshit. Your ilk said that about the iPhone X would fail because it’s too expensive. That turned out to be complete, asinine bullshit. You want a cheap piece of crap for $50? Go buy the damned Echo.
    edited January 2018 tmaymike1gregg thurmanwilliamlondonracerhomie3SnickersMagoojahblademacxpressmwhitejony0
  • Reply 8 of 64
    mike1 said:
    jsmythe00 said:
    Glad they are back on schedule. Sadly though, I don't see this product being successful. I think they priced themselves out the market. 

    I don't get apple sometimes. Airpods are GREAT. What made them even greater is they priced them extremely compettitve. Same with the iPad. Apple watch was slightly overpriced. But this...it's a crippled device at premium price. 

    Fix the price and allow third party music 
    Price is fine. $350 is not expensive for good audio. It should be a premium product with better sound. They don't have to compete with Amazon's dreck. If there's any significant functionality missing, that's a different story. Not a rush, but I am looking forward to picking one up at some point.
    This toy speaker is not good audio unless you are used to listening to MP3 files on a crappy set of Beats headphones. Got a great set of Focals in my Living Room that would give you a point of reference.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 64
    Apple will always have haters and doubters...comes with being on top. On with the release date!
    gregg thurmanwilliamlondonracerhomie3jahbladeoriginalgjony0StrangeDayslkruppwatto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 10 of 64
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,128member
    Still not going to be as good as my home theater system that I have. It’ll be interesting to see what this does though. 
  • Reply 11 of 64
    The way I see it, HomePod sales are going to be compared to sales of Amazon Echo Dots and Google's Home Mini and therefore no matter how many Apple HomePods are sold sales are going to look pathetic in comparison. This is another case of Amazon's market share percentage beating out Apple's profits. I'm sure it's already been declared by the industry how Apple's HomePod is too little and too late. Apple has just that one expensive voice assistant so every other company's voice assistant sales are going to seem immense when compared with the HomePod. Apple is already starting out with Siri being acknowledged as the most stupid AI. Alexa has completely captured the home market and with Amazon's marketing prowess, there's simply no way the HomePod can compete.

     I can already see the headlines. "Amazon's Echo outselling the HomePod by 10 to 1 so Apple has a failing product on its hands." Amazon will be reiterated to reach the $1T market cap mark before Apple because Jeff Bezos is seen as a better CEO than Tim Cook. As an individual, I have no interest in either Echos or HomePods because I don't wish to have listening devices in my house. I'm almost 70 years of age, so I suppose I'm just old-fashioned and don't see voice assistants as some wonderful, game-changing products. My house isn't all that complicated where I need devices to talk to in order to carry out simple commands.  I already have a media center with 7.1 surround sound and a few BT headphones to listen to music if I want to.  Voice assistants may be great for most consumers but I don't fall into that category as of yet.
    edited January 2018 bonobobrandominternetpersonentropyscrabby
  • Reply 12 of 64
    techno said:
    jsmythe00 said:
    Glad they are back on schedule. Sadly though, I don't see this product being successful. I think they priced themselves out the market. 

    I don't get apple sometimes. Airpods are GREAT. What made them even greater is they priced them extremely compettitve. Same with the iPad. Apple watch was slightly overpriced. But this...it's a crippled device at premium price. 

    Fix the price and allow third party music 
    Really? I think the price sounds just right. I am usually holding off on the new products and waiting to see. This one, I want right away.
    I agree.  The HomePod is priced LOWER than my Bose/iPhone speaker, which still perform fantastically but doesn't have SIRI functionality.  If I can get into an Apple Store (1.5 miles distant) on launch day I'm getting one (maybe two).
    williamlondonwatto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 13 of 64
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,821member
    mike1 said:
    jsmythe00 said:
    Glad they are back on schedule. Sadly though, I don't see this product being successful. I think they priced themselves out the market. 

    I don't get apple sometimes. Airpods are GREAT. What made them even greater is they priced them extremely compettitve. Same with the iPad. Apple watch was slightly overpriced. But this...it's a crippled device at premium price. 

    Fix the price and allow third party music 
    Price is fine. $350 is not expensive for good audio. It should be a premium product with better sound. They don't have to compete with Amazon's dreck. If there's any significant functionality missing, that's a different story. Not a rush, but I am looking forward to picking one up at some point.
    This toy speaker is not good audio unless you are used to listening to MP3 files on a crappy set of Beats headphones. Got a great set of Focals in my Living Room that would give you a point of reference.
    Stop with the ridiculous argument. Apples and oranges. I too have an excellent home audio system in my living room that I use for 2-channel audio and home theater. Nobody ever said or expected this would sound as good. This will, however, add good quality sound in other rooms. If it performs as expected, with far superior sound than most of the other cheap crap that's out there and with more functionality.
    command_fwilliamlondonjahbladeJWSCStrangeDayswatto_cobralolliverharry wild
  • Reply 14 of 64
    Here is my problem:
    I got a google mini as a Christmas present from one of the vendors that I work with (thanks for not noticing that I use only Apple Products iPad, Mac Pro, iPhone).

    I tried it and was about 30 minutes into setup before I gave up frustrated that it can't detect my homekit devices properly. Have to install individual apps, can't play apple music etc.
    My Wife said: I take it and put it on her desk.
    She did not even bother setting up any smart devices.

    When she played music on it, I asked her if she does not hear a difference to the Sonos 1 that we have in the living room.

    Answer: They sound the same to me.

    Apple will need lots of marketing here to make people believe that they get superior sound and better voice integration.

    While I want a HomePod, I don't think I want to go in the argument why to spend 350 USD on a speaker when we have a free one at home.

    C



    command_frandominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 64
    techno said:
    jsmythe00 said:
    Glad they are back on schedule. Sadly though, I don't see this product being successful. I think they priced themselves out the market. 

    I don't get apple sometimes. Airpods are GREAT. What made them even greater is they priced them extremely compettitve. Same with the iPad. Apple watch was slightly overpriced. But this...it's a crippled device at premium price. 

    Fix the price and allow third party music 
    Really? I think the price sounds just right. I am usually holding off on the new products and waiting to see. This one, I want right away.
    I agree.  The HomePod is priced LOWER than my Bose/iPhone speaker, which still perform fantastically but doesn't have SIRI functionality.  If I can get into an Apple Store (1.5 miles distant) on launch day I'm getting one (maybe two).
    Right. The people who are comparing HomePod to home theater systems or other expensive equipment are missing the point. To me, it seems like the target audience is people who would be going for a UE Boom, a Bose SoundDock or something similar. If it sounds better than those and adds in some extra ease of use via Siri than it’s a win. 

    I also get get a kick out of the comments about HomePod’s sound quality not being up to par. How can that comment be made about an unreleased product?
    muthuk_vanalingamStrangeDaysfastasleeplolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 64
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,591member
    Siri better work better than it does in my car, in fact - Siri just needs to improve. A speaker without physical controls or a dedicated remote is dangerous imo. Sometimes Siri is soooo slow to react, and sometimes she just doesn't get anything. Often it is great but often isn't good enough. This thing should really be at least as capable as the other similar units. I'd be pissed off if I couldn't ask it to play my radio stations if choice. 
    entropyspatchythepirateharry wild
  • Reply 17 of 64
    DavidAlGregory said: This toy speaker is not good audio unless you are used to listening to MP3 files on a crappy set of Beats headphones. Got a great set of Focals in my Living Room that would give you a point of reference.
    Apple isn't trying to compete in the audiophile market. This is a mass market device, and it has some unique advantages vs. other competitors in that price range for compact speaker systems. 
    williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamJWSCStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 64
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,105member
    Personally I think the HomePod is well priced for what it is set to offer, however I also strongly think that they are ceding the home automation market to Google and Amazon by moving like a sloth in this space.

    I could envisage a HomePod in my lounge, for sound quality where I want it, with Echo Dot equivalent devices in and around certain rooms such as the kitchen and bedroom to control lighting, heating etc.

    My sister went all in on the Amazon system over Christmas due to a mix of price and functionality. I'll admit I assumed it would be a pile of crap, but actually it works damn well, and Alexa seems much better than Siri.

    An example, to turn up the heating she just says "Alexa, turn up the heating to 19 Degrees" and its done. None of this "Hey Siri", wait 3 seconds and then give an instruction bullshit.

    Also everything seems to work with Amazon Alexa, and to a lesser degree Google. But HomeKit? Not so much. She can buy anything, from any supplier and know it will work with her Echo setup.

    Apple can of course catchup, but at this point I'm not sure how they will do it. Amazon has already become the gold standard that developers develop for first, this is a major drop of the ball by Apple, reminicent of Microsoft with the iPhone.
    larryamuthuk_vanalingamjsmythe00watto_cobrapatchythepirate
  • Reply 19 of 64
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 656member
    jsmythe00 said:
    Glad they are back on schedule. Sadly though, I don't see this product being successful. I think they priced themselves out the market. 

    I don't get apple sometimes. Airpods are GREAT. What made them even greater is they priced them extremely compettitve. Same with the iPad. Apple watch was slightly overpriced. But this...it's a crippled device at premium price. 

    Fix the price and allow third party music 
    What are you comparing Homepod too that makes you believe they priced themselves out of the 'market" as you put? This speaker sound quality wise isn't going to even be comparable to the google and Amazon offerings. Do you believe that it can't be high end audio because it's made by Apple? I have commented before that Homepod is more in line with the Play 3 as far as sound quality and price are concerned, not with Alexa or Google home assistants. They are assistant 1st and music ( sound )  quality 2nd, which seems to be the opposite of what Apple is trying to accomplish.

     Also from what I understood it does allow third party music to be played through it, you just can't use Siri to control 3rd party music apps.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 64
     I can already see the headlines. "Amazon's Echo outselling the HomePod by 10 to 1 so Apple has a failing product on its hands." 
    How many phones and tablets does Amazon sell? There's your problem when it comes to thinking Amazon/Alexa has some sort of big advantage.
    watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.