Apple’s HomePod May Become The Next Apple Watch [Opinion]

Daryl Deino

Apple’s HomePod arrived a couple of months back and received some mixed reviews. However, in a review for the Inquisitr, this author praised the amazing sound of the HomePod.

“But the HomePod is hard to resist. You’ll understand just how hard the $350 device is to resist when you play music. It’s not a stereo music player (though you’ll be able to use two HomePods in stereo mode later this year), but that barely matters.”

The review added that not only does the HomePod fill up the whole room with music, but it provides top-notch quality at all ranges of the sound spectrum. However, the HomePod has been referred to as a “flop” by some sources. According to Bloomberg, many Apple Store workers claim that inventory has been piling up and low sales have pushed the company to cut orders with the manufacturer.

“At first, it looked like the HomePod might be a hit. Pre-orders were strong, and in the last week of January the device grabbed about a third of the U.S. smart speaker market in unit sales, according to data provided to Bloomberg by Slice Intelligence,” says author Mark Gurman, adding that three weeks after the launch, HomePod sales slipped to about 4 percent of the smart speaker market.

Apple New HomePod
The HomePod hasn't become a hit -- yet. Featured image credit: Justin SullivanGetty Images

However, it’s really too early to say that Apple won’t eventually succeed with the HomePod. Remember when the Apple Watch was released in 2015 and everybody said the device was doomed since sales weren’t that great? Two years later, after some refinements, the Apple Watch became a hit. The same thing can happen with the HomePod. Here are some ways Apple can make the HomePod a hit:

Cheaper Price

This author thinks the sound alone makes the HomePod worth $350. However, many others don’t. Part of the reason is that outside of being used to play music, the HomePod doesn’t offer enough for the huge price tag. If the HomePod sold for $50 to $100 cheaper, more would be willing to give the speaker a chance.

HomePod Should Be Battery Powered and Rechargeable

Apple HomePod Not Portable
Apple's HomePod needs to be plugged in. Featured image credit: Justin SullivanGetty Images

Apple and other smart speaker companies don’t realize that many people want a WiFi-enabled speaker that doesn’t need to be plugged in. Some people want to be able to use their speakers in their cars, outdoors, and other places. Bluetooth speakers don’t have the same sound fidelity as ones with WiFi.

Apple should definitely look at the Libratone Zipp (recently reviewed here at the Inquisitr) a $300 portable WiFi speaker that is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, Spotify’s Connect, and Apple’s AirPlay. And the sound is excellent. If more people knew about the Zipp, sales of the HomePod would be even lower.

Make Siri More Useful

Siri has been great for all of Apple’s other products (though some would disagree with the statement), but, so far, she just doesn’t cut it for a home speaker. Those who haven’t used an Alexa-enabled speaker before may be somewhat fascinated with talking to Siri at home. However, they will realize she lacks accuracy, recognition of different voices, and many other things when compared to Amazon’s Alexa or even Google Home.

This is something Apple could easily fix in the future, and they probably will. It won’t be “too late” as some have suggested.

Offer Different Sizes of HomePod

As PC World and other sources have noted, Apple intends to release a HomePod Mini. This is a great idea since not everybody needs a full-sized HomePod. Some only need their music to fill up a small space instead of a huge room. Also, some may not be using the HomePod for music capabilities at all. A sub-$200 HomePod Mini will certainly help make the device more mainstream.

The Future

In two years, the HomePod will be a hit. It may seem like a far-fetched idea right now, but Apple has been known to make second or third generation products click when they have failed before. Perhaps by the end of 2019, the HomePod could become the go-to home speaker.