A fresh report from Ming-Chi Kuo gives KGI’s take on the recent stories of poor market reception for HomePod. The report suggests that Apple could sell 2-2.5 million HomePods across all of 2018, with a million of those from first month pent-up demand.
Most analysts have predicted sales for HomePod around ten million a year, so Kuo’s prediction is quite pessimistic. He says the high price has cut off a lot of the potential market (in the face of tough, cheaper, competition) and that Apple is ‘mulling’ a lower-cost model.
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Earlier this week, Bloomberg claimed that some Apple Stores were selling only ten HomePods a day.
A 2.5 million estimate for HomePod yearly sales from KGI works out to about 6,800 units per day, obviously split between retail and online sales. The 2 million figure is significantly below consensus analyst estimates, which are about 7 million for the year.
Apple does not disclose HomePod unit sales itself, classifying it into its ‘Other Products’ division like the Apple Watch, so we have to resort to analyst estimates to guess at sales numbers.
KGI is non-committal about the lower-cost HomePod idea. This suggests that the analyst has seen evidence of lower-cost prototypes but not enough to indicate that Apple has signed off production on a cheaper model.
Whilst $349 may represent a reasonable price for the product’s sound quality as a music speaker, it is at the high-end of the smart assistant device market. Alexa can be brought into a home for just $50, courtesy of the Amazon Echo Dot.
KGI says for most customers Siri is not a must-have and investors should look towards future software announcements and hopes Apple will deliver significant improvements to its voice AI offerings. He highlights how HomePod is yet to expand beyond English-speaking countries. Apple has previously announced that the product will debut in France and Germany this spring.