We are all painfully aware that the Apple HomePod hasn’t exactly been successful. Interestingly enough, the HomePod had some strong reviews, praising its incredible sound quality. But, in recent months, consumers have gravitated towards Apple’s rival offerings – like Amazon and Google. While the HomePod is intended to integrate seamlessly with your other Apple devices, there’s something to be said about Amazon and Google’s products. In fact, a recent report from Strategy Analytics reveals that Apple’s smart speaker only accounted for 6% of the global smart speaker market in the first quarter. In stark contrast, Amazon’s Echo devices garnered an impressive 81.8% share. Impressive, to say the least.
How exactly does Amazon do it? I mean, besides having such a great product? It seems like they aren’t as flashy with their advertising. From a consumer perspective, it’s hard to decide if that’s good or bad. I mean, you kind of want Amazon to go full boar when it comes to promoting their product, but sometimes that’s overkill. Perhaps Amazon does it because their smart speaker is affordable and has good sound quality. It also integrates with a lot of third-party devices – and your Amazon account.
But this isn’t about Amazon – this is about the Apple HomePod. In fact, Apple is taking this news to heart, and they may be releasing a cheaper model of the HomePod under the Beats brand. Is this a good move though? Is the price of the original HomePod what’s keeping its sales low? If yes, will this really make a difference? Or is this just a last minute Hail Mary?
In Apple’s defense, though, their products don’t always become an overnight success. Some take years of constant marketing in order for consumers to get on board with them. Which means, there might be some hope for the HomePod. But it’s weird how Apple is doing this, isn’t it? Some analysts believe that the flaw with the HomePod wasn’t necessarily the price. It was about managing expectations. Apple defends the HomePod’s $349 price tag by marketing it more as a premium audio accessory, but consumers still see it as a smart speaker and compare it with the Amazon Echo or the Google Home. And that is where the problem starts. Overall, the product itself isn’t much more than a high-quality speaker.
But Apple is reportedly trying to fix some of their mistakes. Apple recently released a cheaper iPad, and there is a rumor that there is an even cheaper one in the works. That said, Apple isn’t going to fix any of the issues that they have with Siri. So why release this cheaper version at all? I mean, that’s the problem with the HomePod – not the price, or the weird ring that it was leaving on people’s coffee tables. It’s the fact that Siri is kind of garbage. Maybe that was a bit harsh. But last year, before the HomePod was released, it was thought that Apple was going to up it’s Siri game. When the HomePod was released though, we were given the same Siri, so why do they think that consumers are going to want to buy this?
That said, we don’t have any more details on this new HomePod, other than they are looking at remaking it under the Beats brand, and it will cost $199. They are looking at switching to a different hardware manufacturer for some of the parts, but overall, it’s the same Siri.