Internally, however, the company viewed it more as a high-end speaker, focusing on sound quality rather than Siri's capabilities.
It may be the richest company in the world on the back of huge success in the phone and personal computing world, but competing with the advanced AI platforms Alexa and Google Assistant have grown to become and their sheer range of products they have released to date isn't going well for Apple.
Apple shares were up as much as 1.4 percent Thursday morning, at $174.79 at 11:20 a.m.
Tepid HomePod sales suggest that consumers simply don't care about a premium acoustic experience, or at the very least, are unwilling to pay almost four times as much for a great sounding speaker that can carry out fewer tasks than rival devices. The same thing can also be said about the HomePod, and perhaps a cheaper variant of the smart speaker that could be dropping in later this year might be a catalyst that Apple desperately requires. Two months after its commercial launch, the Homepod can still not be paired for stereo listening or multi-room audio.
Was Apple simply too late to the party?In short, as we noted in our review, Apple's HomePod is an iPhone accessory more than it is a standalone speaker, and requires a higher level of commitment to Apple's products and services than any other product we've yet encountered, making it arguably a niche product right out of the gate.
Apple designed the HomePod to be disassembled and repaired. but only to a certain point. Those figures pale in comparison to Amazon and Google's forecasts: Amazon is forecasted to sell 29 million and 39 million Echos in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Adding some as-yet-undefined feature (beyond better sound) that helps differentiate HomePod.
The HomePod will nearly certainly improve.
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