Apple HomePod supply likely to be severely constrained at launch

“During an earnings conference call, Inventec’s CEO said that Apple’s HomePod would have little material impact on the company’s future results as quantities of the device will probably be constrained at launch,” Mike Wuerthele reports for AppleInsider.

“Speaking to investors, Inventec CEO David Ho confirmed that the HomePod would ship to Apple in the fourth fiscal quarter, with tight constraints,” Wuerthele reports. “After the conference call, an analyst predicted that Inventec would likely only ship 500,000 units of the HomePod in 2017.”

Wuerthele reports, “An unnamed source within Inventec told the Nikkei Asian Review on Monday that the HomePod would in part shift to rival Foxconn in 2018 at some point — but when specifically was not made clear.”

Apple's HomePod
Apple’s HomePod

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In related news, water will remain wet.

Want one on Day One? Good luck! See the launches of AirPods, Apple Watch, Apple Pencil, many iPhones and iPads, etc.

Consumers appear eager to buy Apple’s upcoming HomePod smart speaker – July 14, 2017
After seeing Apple’s HomePod, Amazon is working on an Apple HomePod echo – July 14, 2017
Apple Watch and AirPods in high demand; HomePod buying intent outpaces Amazon Echo – July 10, 2017
Apple’s HomePod could have an even more successful start than Apple Watch – July 7, 2017
Amazon Echo has a problem: Apple’s HomePod has major advantage over rivals – June 18, 2017
Apple’s HomePod first impressions: Lots of mystery, impressive sound quality – June 8, 2017
With HomePod, Apple just wants to shake things up (for now) – June 7, 2017
Apple HomePod vs. Amazon Echo – June 7, 2017
CNET: Apple’s HomePod offers superior sound quality vs. Amazon Echo and Sonos Play:3 – June 6, 2017
Apple’s new HomePod sounds incredible! – June 6, 2017
Apple HomePod takes on Amazon Echo – June 6, 2017
Apple reveals HomePod smart home music speaker – June 5, 2017
Newsflash: Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers – October 23, 2012


    1. A company with a large customer base would presumably launch almost any new product with initially constrained supplies, since they must necessarily starting from zero business. It is almost definitional. The alternative would be to delay launch while stockpiling more units. But that does not make much logical sense to me. Is this such a difficult concept to grasp? I am happy the product is on its way. The exact launch, or exact launch quantities, are not critical issues. Apple is on ongoing enterprise; they will be selling this new product for more than a few quarters. Give ’em a break. You make it sound like they should sell all their products the weekend of launch, and then have a new product ready the next weekend. Sheesh.

    1. You and your Trump pals use put-downs as secret forms of racism & bigotry. You pretend you have a legitimate complaint …when, in fact, it is just a bigot’s excuse to tear someone down. Your beef has nothing to do with Tim Cook’s management of Apple, which — if you have not noticed — is hitting all-time highs. You find a reason to put Tim Cook down because he is gay.

  1. Buttvinnik,
    The coders are working on the BuyoffTrumpOS™ for Russia. Although it seems bad on the surface, secretly there are inserted bugs which will out all the Russian collusionists in the WH.
    Don’t you know ANYTHING?????

    1. hey, you must not have gotten the orders from headquarters at Mount Soros, it’s no longer “Trump colludes with the Rooskies,” that kinda fizzled out…the new mantra is “Trump colludes with Hitler.”

      get with it.

      1. Despite your heartfelt desire, none of the Russian election interference and collusion concerns have “fizzled” in any respect. The investigation is following the money trail and the results should be very interesting.

        The interesting thing about the whole Russian investigation is that Trump and his comrades have dug at least half of the swampy hole in which they are currently standing. Karma is sometimes so beautiful.

          1. Nice try, botty. I do not recall using the qualifier, “forever.” That is apparently just your wishful thinking converted into false narrative.

            You seem very threatened by me, botty. I have always been able to push your buttons. See you later.

      2. Has not fizzled out. It is just getting started. Buzzards are already circling around Manafort. The circle will tighten. The truth will come out. IRS records are probably being scrutinized at the moment. Trump & Family & Friends could well find themselves in jail. Then Trump & Family & Friends will get an IRS audit-oscopy for, like, the rest of their life. Fizzled out, my ass !

  2. Why is it that the news media doesn’t complain when other companies are short products at launch? It’s possible other company’s products don’t have as high a demand as Apple products do. Honestly, don’t most companies have a limited supply of products when they’re announced? 500,000 units isn’t a tiny amount for a product launch.

    1. Yeah from reading recent postings across this here net, I have a newfound respect for how they are in a rarefied space where selling actual things is what they do. And the enormous scale they have to do it on boggles the mind. There’s not another company that, when considering a new product, HAVE to assume they’re going to sell over 20 million in the first three months. Just the fact that it’s something that is POSSIBLE to plan for is remarkable by itself.

      BTW it doesn’t take luck, just a credit card, an internet connection and a browser. The absolute hardest thing you have to do it wait.

    1. trondude, think about it. You are riding a conspiracy theory to a dead end.

      There is a ramp-up to product launch. During this period, the team is working out the final bugs and attempting to increase yields. The product has already been leaked, and every month of delay risks competitors copying and rushing new products out to market. In addition, key sales periods (back to school, Christmas, etc.) are significant drivers. In addition, Apple has to plan the model mix (options such as memory, color, etc.).

      It makes no sense for Apple to design for a manufacturing rate that significantly exceeds the predicted long term average. There may be a short term surge capability to help stock the pipeline for launch or the holidays, but that would not be sustainable.

      So, Apple has a certain number of millions of new units available at launch, which inevitably falls short of initial demand. Big surprise…not. There is no conspiracy.

      Over subsequent months, the initial surge of demand levels out and the manufacturing rate gradually catches up with demand. Apple can also modify the product mix to favor the colors and other options preferred by consumers. If demand remains unexpectedly high, then Apple works with suppliers to increase manufacturing. If demand slows faster than expected, then Apple reduces its orders to keep unsold inventory under control. One of Apple’s advantages is that it works as close to a JIT manufacturing process as possible, which reduces inventory write-offs and enables Apple to rapidly and efficiently shift from one model to the next.

      Nearly every new product that is in high demand at launch will be in short supply for a while. The iPhone is not an injection molded plastic gismo that can be squirted out in whatever volume is required. Apple has to deal with a complex component supply chain, complicated assembly and testing, and worldwide distribution and service. All of this does not just happen.

      As with most things, Apple’s new product challenges are much more difficult than most people realize. Few bother to spend much time considering the process, much less breaking it down to reveal the intricate life cycle dance of R&D, design, testing, supply chain contracts, assembly contracts, shipping, quality control, advertising, sales, service, spare parts, and much more. Try to give Apple some credit. Their job is very difficult and they have generally done a darn good job over the years.

      At Apple, innovation includes both creation and implementation, and translates to useful, desirable, shipping products.

      1. OK, point taken, well said. I do give them credit. But on the other hand, history has shown that the demand is there, for pretty much every product they make, especially the iPhone, so there is no real downside for them not to make more. I know they can and you know they can, so why make their customers suffer when they know that the demand is there? YEs, it is tough, but not insurmountable, especially for Apple with their clout and bankroll. IMHO.

  3. It just takes time. Meanwhile, the dominant strategy is to just sell what you got, when you got ’em, and not to wait.

    It is no reason to jump on Apple’s back because of launch shortages. They are doing the smart thing.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.