Apple has relied on new devices – including redesigned iPhones, in order to stay at the top of the heap. However, that doesn’t seem to be working for Apple – at least not at the moment. According to research assembled by Barclay’s analyst Blayne Curtis, as well as information that was obtained during a trip to Asia to meet with Apple supply partners, the HomePod might not be doing as well as they had hoped.
The analyst states that Homepod sales have been “underwhelming”. The surprising number is that Apple is reportedly expected to produce between 6 and 7 million units. What’s not clear is how many of these they have sold to date. Is this really news though? On one hand, Homepod sales seemed to be high during their initial launch with a ton of pre-orders. Sales, however, have dropped quite a bit. I would argue that Apple’s having a hard time selling these because they failed to deliver a better Siri product. Or am I wrong?
Apple told us that they were going to improve Siri in a big way, but they didn’t really deliver on that. Not only that, but it was incredibly expensive. Why would you spend $350 on a speaker? I mean, sure, you can spend that on a high-quality speaker, no problem. But the big selling feature of the Homepod was that it was a smart speaker, which means, it needed to have Siri to be useful. Not only that, but there are competitors on the market which cost far less. And I mean a fraction of the cost, with an established voice assistant already built in.
Maybe because of that, as well as the poor sales numbers, Apple is thinking about creating a variant that will cost far less than the standard model. This one is thought to start somewhere between $150 and $200. What the sound quality will be like is anyone’s guess. I mean, that seems to be the reason they’re priced so high, isn’t it?
There is some good news though. Apple has delivered on truly wireless earphones – the AirPods. Why this is interesting is because they have sold a lot of the AirPods – 30 million just in 2018 already! That’s incredible. This wouldn’t be an Apple story if I didn’t tell you that they have started delaying shipping for the AirPods. For real? If you buy them right now, the fastest delivery in the United States is by March 21. In some of Apple’s retail stores, though, stock is still available, and a variety of third-party retail options have AirPods readily available.
Maybe that’s the real reason that sales aren’t doing well. Apple has a hard time keeping up with stock. Or at least, they have a hard time judging how much stock they’re going to need for each device? I think they overshot on both the iPhone X as well as the Homepod. Which may have left a bad taste in some consumers mouths. If they can’t deliver on their Air Pod orders, they’re going to be in bad shape in the long run.