Apple's HomePod smart speaker is not off to a good start. But it paints a picture of HomePods piling up in store rooms, orders cut from distributors, and as little as 10 units sold per day in some Apple stores.
At first, it looked like the HomePod might be a hit.
Analysts think HomePod's limited functions couldn't compete with the broader features of market leaders Amazon Alexa and Google Home. The shares gained 1.4 percent to $173.83 in early trading.
Bloomberg points to several other missteps from Apple: missing the Christmas smart speaker sales hype and an over reliance on the iPhone. But the small, wireless speaker is not that product. It is also dependent on the iPhone and "is limited as a digital assistant". For starters, the HomePod - with its $349 sticker price - is far more expensive than both the Amazon Echo and Google Home. While the speaker has been praised for the quality of its sound, including in AppleInsider's review, the HomePod has been criticized for the lack of accuracy of the speaker's Siri functionality.
Like Home and Echo, HomePod is a Bluetooth speaker that comes with Siri built in. This particular market has already been dominated by the Amazon Echo, but arriving late to the party isn't always an issue for Apple.
Apple's new $329 home speaker had strong pre-orders when it was launched February 9, but it has petered out in the increasingly competitive home speaker market since, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
Despite its lacklustre sales, Apple is unlikely to give up on the HomePod completely anytime soon. Alphabet, Google's parent company and owner of Google Home, is forecasted to sell 18 million and 32 million in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
The HomePod will nearly certainly improve.
However, the Apple Watch was also a slow-bloomer in the market and now Apple is the biggest watchmaker in the world. Apple can be expected to regularly update HomePod software alongside the iPhone.
"Apple is %0D%0A" reportedly working on a cheaper model of the HomePod for release later this year.
Apple instead made a decision to focus on sound quality for the Homepod, but has been slow to deliver on some promises in this area as well.