A new report from Bloomberg this evening highlights that Apple itself is concerned about the early market reaction to HomePod. The report explains that Apple has cut “some orders” from Inventec Corporation, its supplier for the smart speaker.
Citing a person familiar with the matter, Bloomberg says that in late March, Apple lowered its forecast and cut orders:
By late March, Apple had lowered sales forecasts and cut some orders with Inventec Corp., one of the manufacturers that builds the HomePod for Apple, according to a person familiar with the matter.
According to data from Slice Intelligence provided to Bloomberg, the HomePod started off strong for Apple, with solid pre-order numbers. The data shows that HomePod nabbed around one-third of the U.S. smart speaker market in terms of sales in the last week of January, but those numbers quickly fell by the time the HomePod hit store shelves:
During the HomePod’s first 10 weeks of sales, it eked out 10 percent of the smart speaker market, compared with 73 percent for Amazon’s Echo devices and 14 percent for the Google Home, according to Slice Intelligence.
Three weeks after the launch, weekly HomePod sales slipped to about 4 percent of the smart speaker category on average, the market research firm says.
Furthermore, Apple is said to be facing a growing backlog of HomePod inventory, with Apple Store locations “selling fewer than 10 HomePods a day.” As you would expect, Apple itself declined to comment on Bloomberg’s report.
Past reports have indicated the struggled within Apple that went into developing HomePod. One report explained that the HomePod project was cancelled and revived several times, with Apple being “blindsided” by Amazon’s line of Echo products.
Ultimately, and as Bloomberg notes, it’s incredibly too early to rule HomePod as a flop. Apple can make numerous improvements to the current-generation HomePod by simply improving Siri, without even updating the actual hardware of the device.
What do you make of HomePod’s early performance? Have you been a customer? Let us know down in the comments!