HomePod is Doing Just Fine

May 15, 2018
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It seems bringing Apple products down has become a favorite pastime of many respectable news outlet. Every day, there is a report of doom and gloom for Apple appearing on our screens.

The hottest topic of discussion these days is the HomePod.

Since its announcements during last year’s WWDC, there has been a continuous flow of news stories and thought articles explaining how Apple has missed the smart speaker boat.

But, has it?

Just last month, an unnamed source told Bloomberg that Apple adjusted its sales forecast and cut “some” orders from Inventec Corp., one of the hardware manufacturers for HomePod. In the same report, it was mentioned that the inventory was piling up.

Moreover, Apple’s Q2 earning report did not talk about HomePod sales figure either. This gave news outlet another chance to reinforce the failure narrative.

In the midst of this, there is a data sample bumping around from Slice Intelligence where we get this masterpiece of a bar graph chart:

In this comparison of apples to oranges (pun intended), HomePod is shown to have just 0.4% of the entire market share. The brilliance of comparing Amazon Echo Show with Apple HomePad is beyond absurd.

However, in the article accompanying the graph shown above noted:

“While [smart speakers] have been mainstreaming over the last two years, 74 percent of HomePod buyers had not purchased a voice-activated speaker in that timeframe.”

This is indication enough that the Apple’s entry into this niche was not a faulty one.

 

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Taking time

For any new product, its first year is always crucial. This is where a business understands whether its product solves a problem or not. In 2015 when Apple Watch was released, similar datasets appeared where the early adoption numbers weren’t exactly impressive.

But the latest figure shows that Apple ships more watches than the entire Swiss industry.

Therefore, it makes no sense to ask for HomePod’s sales figure at this point. The speaker is only two months old. Heck, no one asked Amazon or Google about sales trends when their products were in infancy.

Google’s AI threat

Last week, Google showed how it revamped its Assistant-based Home devices. The newest update will bring realistic conversational features and the ability to understand multiple requests at the same time.

I know. I know. Siri sucks on HomePod. But, let’s understand this. For now, the Siri on HomePod can understand most of your daily routine requests. It can tell you weather and check the mail. It can create timers and play music from Apple Music.

And, for the fancier stuff, Apple has already onboarded John Giannandrea, former AI boss at Google. Furthermore, the iPhone maker currently has more than 100 vacancies available in the fields related to machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Understandably, Giannandrea will be working on making Siri smarter for the next generation of Apple devices but we may not see the effects of his work as he joined only four weeks ago.

Expected WWDC Update

On June 4, we might hear more about the future of HomePod. Even though Tim Cook is not the perfect Apple CEO, one of his best qualities is persistence. He keeps on reiterating in order to get it right.

Therefore, if you have not thought about buying HomePod at the present time, I think after WWDC you will surely start saving for one.

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