China Times Echoes Poor HomePod Sales and Rumors About Possible Lower-Priced Version

A new supply chain report out of Taiwan echoes a recent Bloomberg News story suggesting that HomePod sales have been lackluster, but as with most channel checks, it can be difficult to draw accurate conclusions.

homepodhandson
Namely, the China Times claims that Apple has reduced its HomePod shipment forecast to 200,000 units or less per month in the second quarter, down from around 500,000 units per month in the first quarter, due to lower-than-expected sales. Apple is also said to revise down its shipment forecast for all of 2018.

HomePod sales may very well be lackluster, as a relatively niche product with an expensive $349 price tag, and given a handful of early reviews that criticized Siri's capabilities, but Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously warned against trying to interpret single data points from the supply chain.

Cook on Apple's first quarter earnings call in 2013:

I suggest it's good to question the accuracy of any kind of rumor about build plans. Even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to interpret that data point as to what it meant to our business. The supply chain is very complex and we have multiple sources for things. Yields can vary, supplier performance can vary. There is an inordinate long list of things that can make any single data point not a great proxy for what is going on.

For example, the China Times report only mentions Inventec and a few smaller suppliers affected by the cuts, despite reports that Foxconn would begin assembling HomePods alongside Inventec at some point in 2018. It's possible that Inventec has simply lost a portion of its orders as Apple diversifies its production.

A few months have passed since the HomePod launched, too, so early adopters who were eagerly waiting to purchase the speaker have likely already done so. Just like an iPhone, sales can be expected to be strongest within the first few weeks of availability, followed by a gradual decline over time. Production cuts are to be expected.

Moreover, the HomePod has yet to even launch outside of the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom, so sales remain limited geographically. Apple said the speaker will launch in France and Germany later this spring.

If sales are in fact poor, one way that Apple could boost interest is by offering a more affordable HomePod, and today's report echoes rumors about a possible lower-priced version. However, the report predicts that Apple wouldn't launch a revised or cheaper HomePod until at least the fourth quarter of this year.

We'll likely never know exactly how well the HomePod is selling, as Apple said it will group the speaker under its "Other Products" category in its quarterly earnings reports, alongside the Apple Watch, Apple TV, AirPods, Beats, iPod, and more. But we'll be listening to the May 1 earnings call for any potential hints.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Buy Now)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

iPhone SE 4 With Face ID Said to Be Priced Below $500

Monday May 20, 2024 3:43 am PDT by
Apple is targeting a sub-$500 starting price for its upcoming fourth-generation iPhone SE model despite a raft of rumored upgrades coming to the more affordable device. According to leaker Revegnus on X, the U.S. launch price of the fourth-generation iPhone SE will either remain at the same $429 starting price as the current model, or will see an increase of around 10%. Either way, Apple's...
iOS 17

Apple Releases iOS 17.5.1 With Fix for Reappearing Photos Bug

Monday May 20, 2024 10:11 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1, minor updates to the iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 operating system updates that came out last September. The 17.5.1 updates come a week after the launch of iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5. iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1 can be downloaded on eligible iPhones and iPads over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's...
iPhone 16 Pro Max Generic Feature 2

5 Biggest Changes Rumored for iPhone 16 Pro Max

Tuesday May 21, 2024 7:29 am PDT by
Given Apple's rumored plan to add an all-new high-end tier to its iPhone 17 series in 2025, this could be the year for Apple to bring its boldest "Pro Max" model to the table — the kind of iPhone 16 upgrade that stands tall above its siblings, both figuratively and literally. If you have been holding out for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, here are five of the biggest changes rumored to be coming...
microsoft surface pro qualcomm

Microsoft Says New Surface Pro is Faster Than 15" M3 MacBook Air

Monday May 20, 2024 3:19 pm PDT by
Microsoft is going all in on AI, today introducing a series of Copilot+ PCs that have AI-focused hardware. The new Surface Pro is one of the first Copilot+ PCs, equipped with Qualcomm's Arm-based Snapdragon X Elite processor. Microsoft is already pitting the Surface Pro against Apple's M3 MacBook Air, and in marketing materials, claims that the Surface Pro has superior processing power and...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Perspective

iPhone 16 Lineup Rumored to Come in These Two New Colors

Sunday May 19, 2024 11:08 am PDT by
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today outlined his expectations for the iPhone 16 lineup's color options, revealing that two new colors should replace two of the existing shades. Kuo outlined his expectations in a post on X (formerly Twitter) earlier today. He believes that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will be available in black, white or silver, gray or "Natural Titanium," and rose....

Top Rated Comments

robertcoogan Avatar
80 months ago
I think much of the smart speaker "phenom" is overrated. I don't want to talk to my home, and I am sure most others don't want to as well.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Smartass Avatar
80 months ago
Well, at least Siri learned a few new jokes...
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aluminum213 Avatar
80 months ago
Apple releasing a dumb speaker for $350 isn’t going to be acceptable in 2018

Siri can’t even set two timers at once on the thing haha
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
4jasontv Avatar
80 months ago
meh. I hate talking to my machines. It’s not that they don’t understand, it’s that it feels so disruptive. If I ask her to shut off a light, just do it. We aren’t dating. You don’t need the final word.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TwoBytes Avatar
80 months ago
'Hey Siri, what's cheaper, 3 amazon echos or one homepod?'

'would you like to do a web search?'
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
80 months ago
This comment may make me unpopular here, but frankly I'm glad the HomePod is failing. It is a lackluster product, and Apple needs to stop relying on their logo and name to sell even crappy products.

If this had proper Bluetooth support, and a proper line-in, it would be an absolutely phenomenal speaker. I would have bought one on release day. However, the fact that my friends with Android devices of Windows PCs cannot connect to the HomePod to play music from their devices pretty much kills it for me.

I have a JBL speaker that supports AirPlay, Bluetooth, DLNA, TOSlink, and analog line in. It sounds great, and cost about the same as the HomePod when I got it a couple years ago. Apple should have at least lived up to something like that.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)