Apple Lowers HomePod Forecasts and Cuts Orders Following Lackluster Sales

No Echo here! Apple cuts Home Pod orders after sales prove to be lackluster

No Echo here: Apple reportedly cut orders for its HomePod smart speaker last month

Pre-orders were strong, and in the last week of January the device grabbed about a third of the US smart speaker market in unit sales, according to data provided to Bloomberg by Slice Intelligence.

According to statistics obtained by Bloomberg, some Apple Stores are reporting sales figures in the single digits each week for the HomePod.

This isn't the first time Apple has struggled to get a hot seller for a new product category. Since arriving at retail, Apple has managed to snag 10 percent of the smart speaker market, which pales in comparison to Amazon's 73 percent marketshare.

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Similarly, the HomePod's AI-based digital assistant Siri had obvious issues handling common voice requests, which Apple appears to be addressing by ramping up Siri hiring - and adding a collection of mostly bad jokes to give the feature more personality.

The previous reports said about the overwhelming HomePod demand which was surfaced last month, claim by Apple that the company was looking to churn out 6 to 7 million units in the first production run.

That aside, it appears that consumers have chosen Amazon's smart speaker in large part to its digital assistant being able to interact better than Siri on random questions. Following strong pre-order numbers, Apple is reportedly facing problems with selling the HomePod. Instead the HomePod is mostly limited to playing tunes from Apple Music, controlling a limited number of Apple-optimised smart home appliances and sending messages through an iPhone.

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Apple's CEO will be providing a quarterly summary on May 01, 2018 and perhaps at that time he'll shed some light on HomePod over and above marketing-speak. Slice reports that during its pre-order weekend, the HomePod grabbed 72% of smart speaker revenue. Munster predicts Amazon will sell 29 million Echos in 2018 and 39 million in 2019.

After a multi-month delay, Apple's HomePod finally hit store shelves in early February to generally rave reviews. Alphabet is expected to sell 18 million Google Home devices this year and 32 million next year. Just as the company revamped the Apple Watch's interface a few years after release, it could shake up the HomePod's features.

Still, Amazon and Google will keep ratcheting up the competition, coming out with regular iterations of their own smart speakers that sound better and do more.

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