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Apple Needs to Reconsider Its HomePod Strategy


The following is an excerpt from CHRISTINA BONNINGTON | April 18, 2018 | Slate.com |

Apple finally joined the smart speaker competition in February with the launch of its $349 HomePod. The device was anxiously anticipated. Reports that Apple had been working on a “Siri speaker” had circulated for more than a year, but the device missed its targeted December 2017 debut. Now, the HomePod seems to be missing the mark with consumers. According to recent reports, HomePod sales haven’t hit Apple’s expectations, and the company is considering options including a lower priced model.

Early sales forecasts suggested that Apple could sell up to 10 million HomePod units this year, but recent supply-chain analysis has drastically lowered those estimates. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, for example, said that Apple may sell only 2 million–2.5 million HomePods over the course of 2018. And Bloomberg reported that despite strong preorder sales, in the weeks since its launch, some Apple Stores have only been selling 10 HomePod speakers a day. For comparison, Apple had sold roughly 2.5 million Apple Watches during its first month of sale alone. In 2017, the first year that AirPods were available, Apple sold around 12.5 million.

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