Apple's HomePod delivers superb sound quality, gives you access to Siri without using your iPhone, and lets you control your smart home devices through HomeKit.
Apple's new $329 home speaker had strong pre-orders when it was launched February 9, but it has petered out in the increasingly competitive home speaker market since, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. But after three weeks, the numbers had normalized, with Apple's weekly sales falling to just four percent market share.
When Apple's HomePod went on sale in January, having missed its original December release date, and the crucial holiday shopping season, many feared Apple was simply too late and had already missed the smart speaker boat. But Bloomberg reports that buyers expected capabilities similar to the Amazon Alexa and Google Home and more independence from the iPhone.
Even despite analyst predictions that HomePod would capture a sizable chunk of the burgeoning smart speaker market, coupled also with its impressive pre-order figures, sales have unfortunately fallen short within the last several weeks that it's been available - and according to some reports, inventory continues to pile up at Apple Store and retail locations across the country.
It's hard to get a good grasp on whether HomePod sales are average, mediocre, or severely underperforming. It faces tough competition from other smart speakers that may not have the same audio fidelity, but do meet-or-exceed its personal assistant smarts in miniature form factors at much lower price points. Alphabet, Google's parent company and owner of Google Home, is forecasted to sell 18 million and 32 million in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
The HomePod is part of Apple's growing ambitions in music hardware, which will include upgraded AirPods this year and next as well as over-ear, studio-quality headphones that are now under development.
Adding some as-yet-undefined feature (beyond better sound) that helps differentiate HomePod. Do any of you now own a smart speaker?
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