In a note to clients — as noted by MacRumors — KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reiterates recent reports that Apple’s HomePod sales are disappointing. He says the tech giant is considering a lower-priced wireless speaker to deal with the situation.
“It’s been six years since Apple introduced Siri to the market, which was way ahead of the firm’s major competitors. The massive population of iOS and macOS users is also conducive to the promotion of the voice assistant function,” Kuo says. “However, we note that for most users worldwide, Siri is not a must-have function, and Apple has not yet become a leading brand in the AI voice assistant market. We also note that HomePod has not added support for new languages in the device since launch, suggesting Apple is facing challenges in AI/voice assistant development spanning the globe; this will cap the shipments momentum of HomePod.”
The analyst said Apple is “mulling” a “low-cost version” of the HomePod that may help short-term shipments. However, he says it’s going to take improvements to both the wireless speaker and Siri to boost sales.
The Sellers Research Group (that’s me) thinks that Apple will reduce the price of the HomePod a bit — but NOT by $150 or $200, as some have predicted. I’m also less inclined to think that the tech giant will reduce a smaller speaker than that the company will introduce an even higher end model.