Repairs Almost Cost the Same as New HomePod
Today is the official release date for Apple’s HomePod Speakers and the company just posted cost of repairs for uninsured HomePod customers; $279, which is nearly as much as buying a new one for $349. From this perspective, uninsured Apple users basically get a discount on a like-new HomePod. With repairs of the Homepod costing more than a brand new Echo ($99) or Google Home Speaker ($199), consumers may gravitate towards a more affordable smart home solution. However, Apple’s warranty is only $39 and will cover 2 years of usage which are reasonable terms for users seeking to protect themselves.
The Apple HomePod was available for pre-order starting January 26th and has just sold out of units yesterday. It’s not uncommon for Apple products to sell out on the first day, so selling out nearly 2 weeks later is a bit of a red flag but expected. Apple’s delayed release dates made them miss the holiday appeal of consumers. Moreover, many people expressed interest in the products of Apple’s competitors for a number of reasons.
What are HomePod Users Saying?
The consensus across the web is that Apple’s Homepod has superb sound quality, which was their biggest selling point for the high price tag and to attract Apple Music users, but is lacking in smart home capabilities. Dwight Silverman, Technology editor, Houston Chronicle said that Apple’s updates on Siri have lobotomized it. “Sadly, Siri’s attitude was dialed back. Now, when you ask about hiding a body, Siri acts like someone whose recent lobotomy has robbed her of personality and memory. As the screenshot below shows, she says she “used to know” the answer for that.”
Does Apple Have What it Takes to Compete in Smart Speaker Market?
I remember reading the estimates for HomePod sales back in July of 2017 and it was clear that Apple would have stiff competition from Amazon and Google.
My Apple #HomePod has arrived… and the audio quality is nowhere near as impressive as some early reports claimed. It sounds far better than other voice assistant speakers (Echo, Google Home), but it doesn’t obviously outclass similarly sized Bose or Sonos speaker sound quality.
— Jamie Skella (@JamieSkella) February 9, 2018
More than 16% of iPhone users were strongly compelled to purchase an Echo device over a HomePod. Now that they’ve missed the chance of competing for sales during the holidays, overall interest in Apple’s smart speaker may have continued to die down. And now with the Homepod currently sold out for its release date, we’ll have to wait and see how Apple’s sales pan out for the remainder of Q1.
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