HomePod occupies 4 percent of smart speaker market as sector growth soars

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 46
    dkhaleydkhaley Posts: 39member
    It all depends how you define the market. If you define it as "smart speakers", then Homepod adoption is lackluster. If people are primarily looking for a voice assistant, it is a pricey option.

    If you define the market as audiophiles, it compete against Sonos, bluetooth speakers and non-connected speakers. In this case, they're just another player.

    If the market is "Audiophiles who want smart speakers" then the Homepod's market share looks promising ... in a limited market.

    Personally, I think Apple needs to cut productions costs and reposition the product.
  • Reply 22 of 46
    starxdstarxd Posts: 128member
    By 2020, I think Apple will ditch the product just like its previous boom box. By Apple standard, this is not even an acceptable number.
    30+ million speakers is a pretty acceptable number, even by Apple standards. And I suspect it will be higher, because Apple will release more Siri capable speakers, including some Beats branded ones.
    claire1
  • Reply 23 of 46
    slprescottslprescott Posts: 752member
    "as the sector itself grows exponentially"

    The chart shows growth to be linear, not exponential.  Exponential (and geometric) growth shows a curved trend, getting steeper as time proceeds to the right.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 24 of 46
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,875member
    blastdoor said:
    DAalseth said:
    SJ once said something about skating to where the puck will be. That's fine, but occasionally even Gretzky skated to where he expected it to be but the play went somewhere else.

    Apple thought the point of a Smart Speaker was the speaker. The market is going for smart. This means that comparatively lousy sounding entries from Amazon and Google with better AIs and a cheaper price are beating out Apple whose product may have great sound but is crippled by a poor AI and very high cost.

    Apple just messed up, that's all. It happens.
    I agree they messed up, but I don't think they messed up by having a high quality speaker. I think that was the right thing to do (it's why I bought a HomePod). They messed up by having a crappy AI. If they fix that, then I think they can get their usual 10 to 15% of the market, skimmed right off the top (where all the profit lives). 
    Yes getting the hardware correct is VERY important to Apple. Apple can't go back an upgrade hardware, but it can always fix software with software updates. You can't fix a shitty speaker if Apple decided to cheap out and use a cheaper speaker, but you can always fix Siri and make enhancements. You can always add features to HomePod to make it more useful, etc. 
    claire1
  • Reply 25 of 46
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 626member
    blastdoor said:
    DAalseth said:
    SJ once said something about skating to where the puck will be. That's fine, but occasionally even Gretzky skated to where he expected it to be but the play went somewhere else.

    Apple thought the point of a Smart Speaker was the speaker. The market is going for smart. This means that comparatively lousy sounding entries from Amazon and Google with better AIs and a cheaper price are beating out Apple whose product may have great sound but is crippled by a poor AI and very high cost.

    Apple just messed up, that's all. It happens.
    I agree they messed up, but I don't think they messed up by having a high quality speaker. I think that was the right thing to do (it's why I bought a HomePod). They messed up by having a crappy AI. If they fix that, then I think they can get their usual 10 to 15% of the market, skimmed right off the top (where all the profit lives). 
    As I've said since they first released then HomePod the market for top quality $350 speakers is not that big. Most people want noise. Something that will play that movie for the kids, or that TV show while I make dinner. Fidelity isn't that important to the majority of households. Heck, most people use the speakers that came with their TV, and $10 ear buds. So for not much money they can get a speaker that sounds maybe marginally better than the ones in the TV, but they can ask it questions, or Apple's offering is much better in the realm of what most people don't care much about, but costs a lot more. It should not be a surprise that the HomePod is stuck in the low single digits of the market. Unless we want to say that the HomePod is not competing with Google and Amazon and is just a top end speaker. If that's the case we should stop worrying about the HomePod's market share among smart speakers at all. 
    edited July 2018
  • Reply 26 of 46
    macxpress said:
    thedba said:
    By 2020, I think Apple will ditch the product just like its previous boom box. By Apple standard, this is not even an acceptable number.
    I beg to differ. 
    By 2020, Apple would probably capture the top 10% of the market and 90% of the profits from this sector. 
    They’ll let Amazon and Google battle it out for the scraps.
    This! Its not always who sells the most. Apple doesn't always sell the most iPhones, yet they always take the most profits. That being said, you have cell phone makers that are either out of business or very close. This is what happens when you compete on price. A race to the bottom. The only people who care about who sells the most are clueless shareholders who think they know how to run Apple better than Apple does. 

    Also, what constitutes as no an acceptable number by Apple? Only Apple know what its sales goals were. I don't know where this came from, but it seems like some think every single Apple product will sell like iPhone does and if it doesn't, then its automatically a failure and they should just ditch it. 

    Things take time to get going. Apple Watch didn't exactly set the world on fire (or so it seemed) at first and now look at it. 
    When it comes to Wall Street investors, market share percentage remains the key metric and Apple will always be seen as the low company on the totem pole and always end up with the worst valuation when put up against Amazon, Google, Facebook and even Microsoft. Everything Apple does is seen as coming up short or not meeting expectations. I understand Apple's goals but Wall Street never does and Apple shareholders end up behind FANG shareholders in terms of stock gains. Watch Facebook soar to $250 while Apple stock struggles to reach $200. Facebook's social value is seen as being far more valuable than Apple's consumer hardware. Why can't Apple monetize like the FANG stocks do? The HomePod will always be considered the big loser out of all the smart speakers on the market. Due to how Apple sets its goals, Apple will never be considered a big winner at anything.  Apple will  always be trailing Google, Facebook and Amazon. Nowadays, perception is worth a lot more than reality. Apple would have to have long lines around the block for every new product announced. We all know that won't happen.

    Siri will likely forever remain an embarrassment to Apple as rival companies' smart assistants suck private data from everyone on the planet.

    All that I've said is just my opinion from a very narrow view and doesn't count for much at all.  I'm just frustrated how Apple neglects their computer products.  There's not much point in me complaining.  Apple has done well by me for the most part.  I'm really looking forward to new product category and hope Apple has jumped forward with some unexpected, high selling, popular product.
    edited July 2018
  • Reply 27 of 46
    robbyxrobbyx Posts: 479member
    DAalseth said:
    blastdoor said:
    DAalseth said:
    SJ once said something about skating to where the puck will be. That's fine, but occasionally even Gretzky skated to where he expected it to be but the play went somewhere else.

    Apple thought the point of a Smart Speaker was the speaker. The market is going for smart. This means that comparatively lousy sounding entries from Amazon and Google with better AIs and a cheaper price are beating out Apple whose product may have great sound but is crippled by a poor AI and very high cost.

    Apple just messed up, that's all. It happens.
    I agree they messed up, but I don't think they messed up by having a high quality speaker. I think that was the right thing to do (it's why I bought a HomePod). They messed up by having a crappy AI. If they fix that, then I think they can get their usual 10 to 15% of the market, skimmed right off the top (where all the profit lives). 
    As I've said since they first released then HomePod the market for top quality $350 speakers is not that big. Most people want noise. Something that will play that movie for the kids, or that TV show while I make dinner. Fidelity isn't that important to the majority of households. Heck, most people use the speakers that came with their TV, and $10 ear buds. So for not much money they can get a speaker that sounds maybe marginally better than the ones in the TV, but they can ask it questions, or Apple's offering is much better in the realm of what most people don't care much about, but costs a lot more. It should not be a surprise that the HomePod is stuck in the low single digits of the market. Unless we want to say that the HomePod is not competing with Google and Amazon and is just a top end speaker. If that's the case we should stop worrying about the HomePod's market share among smart speakers at all. 
    Anyone who seriously cares about audio quality isn’t buying a HomePod. That person is buying a Sonos Connect Amp, an Echo or a Google Home and connecting actual high end speakers.

    Apple focused on the wrong product attributes. Siri is weak compared to Google and Amazon. Everyone knows this. Why spend a lot more for marginally better sound and the worst assistant?  It makes no sense. I wish Apple had waited a year or two and really blown us away with a seriously upgraded Siri.


    DAalsethentropysXavierCross1977
  • Reply 28 of 46
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,621member
    MacPro said:
    I's like to see the same graph but based on profits.

    As an aside, I now have Alexa, Goggle assistant and Siri on my iPhone and after hours of asking them all the same questions it is pretty amazing for me to discover Alexa and Google assistant are just as prone to the 'I don't know that' as Siri. 
    Why? Everyone knows what Apple’s business model is and that Google and Amazon have completely different business models. I suppose someone could throw up a chart showing Apple is more profitable than Sonos if that makes some people feel better about Apple.
    Still denying reality, I see. As Gruber said, “Profit is the air corporations breathe.” Market share is not a metric of success the way profit is. So for people to say “But but but Competitor X has more market share!” is not a realistic way to measure that product’s success level. 

    Have fun worshipping in the church of market share. 
    edited July 2018 jony0
  • Reply 29 of 46
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,621member
    I’ve got one and it’s fantastic - the sound is excellent and big for such a small shelf speaker. 

    I only use Siri for music and HomeKit and no complaints. Tho I still prefer to browse my music via a UI and output it to the HP (or just tap the HP player in iOS widgets and use the Music UI to select an album, etc)
  • Reply 30 of 46
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,621member

    robbyx said:
    DAalseth said:
    blastdoor said:
    DAalseth said:
    SJ once said something about skating to where the puck will be. That's fine, but occasionally even Gretzky skated to where he expected it to be but the play went somewhere else.

    Apple thought the point of a Smart Speaker was the speaker. The market is going for smart. This means that comparatively lousy sounding entries from Amazon and Google with better AIs and a cheaper price are beating out Apple whose product may have great sound but is crippled by a poor AI and very high cost.

    Apple just messed up, that's all. It happens.
    I agree they messed up, but I don't think they messed up by having a high quality speaker. I think that was the right thing to do (it's why I bought a HomePod). They messed up by having a crappy AI. If they fix that, then I think they can get their usual 10 to 15% of the market, skimmed right off the top (where all the profit lives). 
    As I've said since they first released then HomePod the market for top quality $350 speakers is not that big. Most people want noise. Something that will play that movie for the kids, or that TV show while I make dinner. Fidelity isn't that important to the majority of households. Heck, most people use the speakers that came with their TV, and $10 ear buds. So for not much money they can get a speaker that sounds maybe marginally better than the ones in the TV, but they can ask it questions, or Apple's offering is much better in the realm of what most people don't care much about, but costs a lot more. It should not be a surprise that the HomePod is stuck in the low single digits of the market. Unless we want to say that the HomePod is not competing with Google and Amazon and is just a top end speaker. If that's the case we should stop worrying about the HomePod's market share among smart speakers at all. 
    Anyone who seriously cares about audio quality isn’t buying a HomePod. That person is buying a Sonos Connect Amp, an Echo or a Google Home and connecting actual high end speakers.

    Apple focused on the wrong product attributes. Siri is weak compared to Google and Amazon. Everyone knows this. Why spend a lot more for marginally better sound and the worst assistant?  It makes no sense. I wish Apple had waited a year or two and really blown us away with a seriously upgraded Siri.
    Ah “everybody knows”, except poor, poor Apple. So sad. 

    Nah. I did a gimmicky “assistant”. I need to play good sounding music and control my home automation. I’m not going to be asking for toilet paper, movie tickets, or any other gimmicky crap. 
  • Reply 31 of 46
    DAalseth said: As I've said since they first released then HomePod the market for top quality $350 speakers is not that big. 
    How big is the market for $300-$400 headphones? Big enough. There's nothing unusual about the price relative to what you're getting. If people weren't willing to spend $300 or more on music accessories, then Beats would never have taken off like it did. 
  • Reply 32 of 46
    robbyx said:  Anyone who seriously cares about audio quality isn’t buying a HomePod. That person is buying a Sonos Connect Amp, an Echo or a Google Home and connecting actual high end speakers.
    In how many rooms of the house are they going to put in a large scale audiophile quality component system? It's like TVs...most people will typically have a larger primary system that they might sink serious $$ into, then some more compact and less expensive models in other parts of the house/apartment. 
    edited July 2018
  • Reply 33 of 46
    thrangthrang Posts: 765member
    By 2020, I think Apple will ditch the product just like its previous boom box. By Apple standard, this is not even an acceptable number.


    This was a legitimate laugh out loud...

    By your measure they would have killed the Watch too.

    They are now becoming ubiquitous...

    I have three HomePods and love them - they offer incredible sound per pound, and that's the main purpose for me for now. "Smart" will come over time. There is NO rush for that. It is so early in the curve you can't even see the first bend.

    edited July 2018 tmayclaire1jony0
  • Reply 34 of 46
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,595member
    I’ve got one and it’s fantastic - the sound is excellent and big for such a small shelf speaker. 

    I only use Siri for music and HomeKit and no complaints. Tho I still prefer to browse my music via a UI and output it to the HP (or just tap the HP player in iOS widgets and use the Music UI to select an album, etc)
    I wonder how many people use Siri for music. To me a 'Digital Assistant' and 'Music' mostly belong in different worlds. If I just want some background music then sure, but I don't think many people know exactly what they want to listen to - they want to 'browse', and browsing is a visual thing. In the old days it was LP covers, then CD's and now surfing through Apple Music, or whatever. My daughter will flip through her playlists at ridiculous speed only listening to about 1 sec (if that) before moving on, so she mixes visual and auditory info for hyper speed navigation. But Siri? It has its place and I do use it, but alone it is not enough.
  • Reply 35 of 46
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,088member
    So the HomePod is a failure, huh. I seem to remember back in 2012 analysts from another crystal ball prognosticator that Windows Phone would surpass iOS by 2016. Then there’s the 2012 prediction that Android tablets would surpass the iPad by 2016 too. This current prediction about the demise and irrelevancy of the HomePod goes to 2022? Really? They can do that with a straight face? I pity the investors who listen to this crap. I pity the investors who listen to any of these dumbass analysts about anything, but especially Apple. 

    Meanwhile this analysis will certainly be used to prop up the confirmation bias of many who lurk and post here.
    edited July 2018 macxpressjony0
  • Reply 36 of 46
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,569member
    tmay said:


    DAalseth said:
    maestro64 said:
    Here is one data point, recently I have been in people's homes who had an Alexa device and they were all unplugged, not bein used.

    My wife's family does a family vacation to the beach every couple of years and we rent a large beach house. This years house had an Alexa device, but someone in the family unplugged it and when ask about it everyone just said to leave it unplug. They were not interested in it randomly responding and listen to the "what happens at the beach vacation says at the beach" conversations.

    That installed base number I would image will be meaningless, people are buying these things and within a short period of time they seem not to be using them. Installed yes, but useful not at all.
    Oh IMO that is VERY likely. Once the novelty wears off I suspect most of these first gen AI assistants will disappear into a drawer.
    So, high quality speakers are likely bought as speakers, and at least at this point in time, lack of a fully competitive Siri doesn't appear to be a long term liability to Apple not only gaining marketshare, but maintaining those margins by selling high ASP audio products. You note that lots of these are, what I would describe as novelties, and inexpensive ones at that, which will likely see replacement by future smart speakers with superior audio quality.

    Looks to me like there is plenty of room for market expansion in the high quality smart speaker niche, for any company that wants to pursue that. Apple appears to want to pursue that.
    I use my homepod not because I want it to tell me what the weather is outside. I can look out the window and figure that out, been doing that my entire life and my eyes have not fail me yet. I use it for Music and the quality of the sound it puts out, I find it easier then turning on my home entertainment system to fill the family room and kitchen with music. I use to have Bose sound dock and need to replace since 30 pin is dead.

    Google and Amazon both think AI is the driving factory when in reality I think listening to music will be the driving factor and having AI is just the nice to have feature.
    tmayStrangeDayscrossladjony0
  • Reply 37 of 46
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,684member
    We got a HomePod recently (used my Costco rebate to reduce price to $80). We do enjoy the sound quality and it is positioned so that it can fill the entire downstairs area with sound. The Siri functions are nice for timers, music and a few other things.  We have seen a few problems that hopefully will go away with firmware improvements.  Sometimes Siri is invoked by the television sound. We are watching a show and suddenly Siri blurts out a non-sequitur or confirms some command we didn't give.  An option to learn our voices like on iPhone would be helpful.  Also, a couple of times the HomePod has just stopped playing music in the middle of a song (streaming Apple Music).  Yesterday it stopped playing and would not respond to commands.  A power cycle fixed that, but it is a bit disconcerting and disappointing.  Hoping a firmware update will fix some of these annoyances.
    claire1
  • Reply 38 of 46
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,621member
    paxman said:
    I’ve got one and it’s fantastic - the sound is excellent and big for such a small shelf speaker. 

    I only use Siri for music and HomeKit and no complaints. Tho I still prefer to browse my music via a UI and output it to the HP (or just tap the HP player in iOS widgets and use the Music UI to select an album, etc)
    I wonder how many people use Siri for music. To me a 'Digital Assistant' and 'Music' mostly belong in different worlds. If I just want some background music then sure, but I don't think many people know exactly what they want to listen to - they want to 'browse', and browsing is a visual thing. In the old days it was LP covers, then CD's and now surfing through Apple Music, or whatever. My daughter will flip through her playlists at ridiculous speed only listening to about 1 sec (if that) before moving on, so she mixes visual and auditory info for hyper speed navigation. But Siri? It has its place and I do use it, but alone it is not enough.
    Which is exactly why I think all the teeth gnashing about Siri is much ado about nothing. You can yell out and have something play if you want (it made for a novel party trick), otherwise browsing is better. 
  • Reply 39 of 46
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,119member
    blastdoor said:
    I have a HomePod, but right now I can't recommend it to friends or family. 

    The problem is that Siri is an embarrassment. I don't even try to ask Siri to do anything other than play music, and she routinely screws that basic task up. if she were able to do anything right, I'd expect it to be playing music (given that it's a speaker!), but nope. 

    Just to clarify, Siri does understand words pretty well. The problem is figuring out intent/meaning. I actually suspect that if Apple were to ditch the whole "machine learning" approach and instead just write a whole bunch of "if" statements, they might end up with a more usable product (although clearly in the long run, ML is going to be needed)




    ***Warning Long ***

    I just got a HomePod a couple weeks ago for a lower price point. I also have a Amazon Echo Dot, and a Google Home Mini and Alexa on my Ecobee 4. Even Cortana on my Windows 10 Desktop. So I get to play around with them all.

    Siri works great for me. I hear Siri is limited on the Homepod, but for what I've used it for so far, it's done everything I've asked it. What was Amazing was having the HomePod at 100% Volume, being in the Master Bathroom, and not even yelling, Siri heard me. WOW. Did what I asked. Now it's not as Loud as I thought it would be, but it's pretty darn loud, and I know if you had 2 of them, they go louder. But full blast and it's not distorting. That's what I care about. Last thing you want is distortion. It also sounds great for it's size.

    I ask Siri to do me things and it has no problem. It's gotten everything right 100% so far. I can sit there on my Bed and just ask all 3 the same type of things. Google and Siri work Similar. Alexa on the other hand is wordy. Anything past it's basic things, as in getting into Home Control, Alexa is just clueless. Where as Google and Siri are Smart enough to know what I want.

    Anything you want to do with Alexa, you have to Tell or Ask it to do it, and with what device. So I have automated a couple of my 2" blinds. Using kits from My Smart Blinds. Before I had to use a App. They just released a Hub for Voice control. Right now I can only use Alexa, so that's 2 of my devices, with Google coming shortly. Siri?!?!?! They said in the past they were going to support Siri, but that disappeared. So I stopped at only a couple of my blinds and will do no others until there's Siri Support. But to use Alexa, I have to say something like "Alexa, Tell MySmartBlinds to Open, Master Bedroom." and they'll open. Or I can say. "Alexa, Tell MySmartBlinds to close" it'll ask me to close what, and I'll say Computer Room. Or Close ALL, etc. If this was Siri or Google, I would only have to say something like "Hey Siri, Open Master Bedroom", and Siri would know I was talking about the Blinds to open and just do it.Same with Google.

    My biggest issue with HomePod is that Apple Music is the only thing it supports directly. Also the fact I dn't want to pay $10 a month for how little music I tune into these days. I got it to try it out. To give me the news, and Weather. It's simple to set a alarm. Siri has done quite well for me. I also think Siri gets better with you the more you use it.

    I think the biggest issue is Apple not having any cheaper option. It's also really limited to only those with a iOS device. You can't set it up without having a iOS device. The $350 price tag? Google and Amazon have $50 options that I've gotten them at Christmas for $30 a pop!!! I know a girl here at work that got 18 Amazon Dots at $30 a pop as Christmas Gifts!!! Now those things sound like CRAP for Music, the Google Mini sounds much better. The Echo Dot sounds like a cheap Plastic sounding speaker. But for Home Control, giving you the news, answering questions. You can get a bunch of these things and throw them around your house. You're not going to do that with the HomePod.

    On the other hand, I think ALL of them are kind of old Tech, Locked into a Room by a power cord. I can do all my Home Control from my wrist, speaking to Siri on my Apple Watch. Nothing like lifting my wirst as I'm walking home from down the street and just going, "Hey Siri, Open garage" and BAM, it starts to open and is done opening as I walk up my driveway. None of those other devices help you outside!!! I need to turn on the outside light on the side of my garage while outside, Lift my wrist and go "Hey Siri, turn on outside garage light" and BAM it goes on. It's a little poky on my Original Apple Watch, but it works!!! I do plan to upgrade my Apple Watch.
    edited July 2018 tmayrobbyx
  • Reply 40 of 46
    robbyxrobbyx Posts: 479member

    robbyx said:
    DAalseth said:
    blastdoor said:
    DAalseth said:
    SJ once said something about skating to where the puck will be. That's fine, but occasionally even Gretzky skated to where he expected it to be but the play went somewhere else.

    Apple thought the point of a Smart Speaker was the speaker. The market is going for smart. This means that comparatively lousy sounding entries from Amazon and Google with better AIs and a cheaper price are beating out Apple whose product may have great sound but is crippled by a poor AI and very high cost.

    Apple just messed up, that's all. It happens.
    I agree they messed up, but I don't think they messed up by having a high quality speaker. I think that was the right thing to do (it's why I bought a HomePod). They messed up by having a crappy AI. If they fix that, then I think they can get their usual 10 to 15% of the market, skimmed right off the top (where all the profit lives). 
    As I've said since they first released then HomePod the market for top quality $350 speakers is not that big. Most people want noise. Something that will play that movie for the kids, or that TV show while I make dinner. Fidelity isn't that important to the majority of households. Heck, most people use the speakers that came with their TV, and $10 ear buds. So for not much money they can get a speaker that sounds maybe marginally better than the ones in the TV, but they can ask it questions, or Apple's offering is much better in the realm of what most people don't care much about, but costs a lot more. It should not be a surprise that the HomePod is stuck in the low single digits of the market. Unless we want to say that the HomePod is not competing with Google and Amazon and is just a top end speaker. If that's the case we should stop worrying about the HomePod's market share among smart speakers at all. 
    Anyone who seriously cares about audio quality isn’t buying a HomePod. That person is buying a Sonos Connect Amp, an Echo or a Google Home and connecting actual high end speakers.

    Apple focused on the wrong product attributes. Siri is weak compared to Google and Amazon. Everyone knows this. Why spend a lot more for marginally better sound and the worst assistant?  It makes no sense. I wish Apple had waited a year or two and really blown us away with a seriously upgraded Siri.
    Ah “everybody knows”, except poor, poor Apple. So sad. 

    Nah. I did a gimmicky “assistant”. I need to play good sounding music and control my home automation. I’m not going to be asking for toilet paper, movie tickets, or any other gimmicky crap. 
    I don’t think Apple knows what it’s doing when it comes to home audio. HomePod is a me-too product, the first Apple product in a long time that didn’t improve upon the category, much less reimagine what that type of product should be.  Siri is less capable and while the hardware might be good, it’s not that special. The real opportunity to innovate lies with Siri and Apple is woefully behind there.

    I agree with the comment to which I replied. Most people who buy this type of product don’t care too much about audio quality. Good enough is more than fine. And my comment stands. People who care a lot about audio quality aren’t buying HomePod. They buy higher end speakers and connect them to things like Sonos Connect or an Echo or Home via a receiver.

    Apple tried to distinguish HomePod with its audiophile chops and it didn’t work.  The assistant is what matters. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
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