Apple HomePod sales 'underwhelming,' AirPods still growing, analyst says

Apple HomePod sales 'underwhelming,' AirPods still growing, analyst says


Sales of Apple’s first smartspeaker, the HomePod, have so far been “underwhelming,” according to a Barclays analyst, citing a week-long trip his team spent meeting companies in Apple’s Asian supply chain.

While no exact numbers were provided, Apple was originally planning a first production run of 6 to 7 million units, said Blayne Curtis in a memo seen by AppleInsider. Few HomePod figures have emerged, and none from Apple itself, so it isn’t clear what the analysts are using for a measure of success. Most recently, Loup Ventures estimated that 3 percent of smartspeaker owners have a HomePod.

The HomePod has typically been praised for its sound quality, but lambasted for Siri, which is more limited as an AI assistant that Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant.

On a positive note, Curtis said Apple will probably continue to grow production of AirPods, which have proven a strong seller for Apple despite their $159 pricetag. U.S. online orders may still take weeks to deliver, well over a year after their Dec. 2016 launch.

Both AirPods and the HomePod are rumored to be getting updates later this year. The flagship $349 HomePod could be joined by a cheaper model, while AirPods could be tweaked to include a newer wireless chip and tap-free “Hey Siri” commands. 2019 buds could have better water resistance.

Curtis said Barclays is expecting some form of upgraded AirPods early next year.



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