Apple’s HomePod hasn’t been doing that well in the US compared to market leader Amazon and bitter rival Google. Things have apparently gotten so bad that the company is thinking of releasing a low-cost version of the smart speaker.
This intriguing bit of news comes from noted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He claims that Apple will only manage to sell 2 to 2.5 million HomePod units by the end of 2018, clearly below expectations. A combination of market forces and strong competition might convince the company to build a cheaper model for the next generation.
Apple hasn’t actually begun work on this yet. It hasn’t even confirmed reports that the HomePod isn’t doing as well as it hoped. Still, it’s not hard to see the brand reevaluating its strategy given that its speaker costs $349, much more than the Google Home and Amazon Echo.
The latter pair are much more advanced when it comes to artificial intelligence, allowing for natural conversations and task management. Siri can’t quite match up to the duo and the HomePod itself is quite closed off in Apple’s walled garden.
A more affordable price tag, better third-party integration, and a smarter Siri are at the top of the wish list for the HomePod 2, but it remains to seen whether the company will deliver on any of these possibilities. The company rarely makes its products cheaper, but a more intelligent Siri is possible after its recent hiring of Google’s head of AI.