Apple’s first foray into the smart speaker hasn’t been going so well. Despite rave reviews for its sound quality, HomePod sales have been disappointing, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Sales are so dismal that Apple Stores reportedly have stockpiles of the speakers at the retail locations and have recently cut orders. Some stores surveyed in the Bloomberg report state that they sold as few as 10 HomePods in a single day.
Market research firm Slice Intelligence estimates that HomePod only has about four percent of the smart speaker market, while Amazon’s Echo has a whopping 73 percent, with Google Home holding around 14 percent.
While the device may sound amazing, it’s not hard to figure out the reason why it’s not selling. First, the price. At $350, HomePod sits at the high end of the smart speaker market, compared to Amazon’s devices which start at $50 and go as high as $23 for the Echo Show. Google’s devices also start at $50 and top out $130 for the Google Home.
There’s also the elephant in the room: compatibility. HomePod works flawlessly with Apple Music. But you’re out of luck if you want voice control with Pandora or Spotify. And you must be deep into the Apple ecosystem since you can only set the device up with an iOS device.
And finally, let’s talk about Siri. It pales in comparison to Alexa or Google Assistant. Siri on the HomePod can easily help manage Home Kit compatible smart devices, but Siri’s AI is no match for its rivals.
Apple was late to the smart speaker game, but don’t count them out just yet. Like other Apple products, they’ll keep innovating until they get it right. So for now, the HomePod is just a pretty speaker waiting to get better.