Echo Dot was Amazon’s Black Friday – Cyber Monday bestseller as Apple’s delayed HomePod waits for 2018 release date

“Just days after Apple delayed its HomePod speaker and personal assistant into 2018, Amazon’s low-priced Echo Dot was the company’s top seller over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, giving the online retailer an even greater lead over rivals in the home speaker market,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“In addition, the Echo Dot was the best selling device at Whole Foods Market over the holiday weekend, which included the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping days,” Hughes reports. “The Echo Dot is Amazon’s entry-level home personal assistant, and has been available for $29.99 to kick off the Christmas gift buying season.”

“Industry watchers have speculated that a high price and late entrance into the home personal assistant space could hamper the success of Apple’s HomePod,” Hughes reports. “Earlier this month, Apple announced that the HomePod would not make its December launch window, and will instead become available in early 2018. That has raised the question of how many prospective HomePod buyers will instead opt for alternatives from Amazon or Google.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There’s nothing like digging yourself an unnecessary hole two years late, huh, Apple?

Missing one Christmas might not seem like a lot, but every user lost to another ecosystem is much, much more difficult to convert into a customer when you finally get your ass in gear and ship.

And, under the tree this year, there will be millions upon millions getting Amazon Echo and Google Home products and into their ecosystems*, not Apple’s.

*And other services, like Spotify instead of Apple Music, for one prominent example.

Apple really screwed the pooch on this one.

Real artists ship. – Steve JobsMacDailyNews, November 20, 2017

This wouldn’t have happened this way under Steve Jobs.

The HomePod’s internal code name ought to be “Clusterfsck,” but that’s already been taken by the Mac Pro.

Steve Jobs could see the whole picture and into the future. He would inherently know how to use Siri to tie together Wi-Fi connectivity, home automation, Bluetooth, Apple TV, sound reproduction, Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, etc. and he’d direct his staff to work towards the goal(s) he defined. When you lose your visionary CEO and replace him with a caretaker CEO, this is the type of aimless, late, bureaucratic dithering that ensues.MacDailyNews, November 21, 2017

Luckily for Tim Cook, Steve Jobs left him a perpetual profit machine that can absorb pretty much any lackadaisical fsckatude that can be thrown into the spokes.

We can almost see the smiles of the Amazon Echo and Google Home execs from here. — MacDailyNews, November 17, 2017

There could be a psychological component to this that leads people use Alexa over Siri precisely because they know the Echo is there (it’s a physical object), but forget about Siri being everywhere, even on their wrists (because Siri is embedded inside devices that are “for other things” in the user’s mind (telling time, watching TV, computing, phone calls, etc.) and therefore “hidden” to the user. Hence, Siri gets forgotten and goes unused while people use Alexa…

Again: We believe people use Alexa because Amazon Echo is a physical manifestation of “her,” while forgetting about Siri even though she’s on their wrists at all times and/or in their iPhones and iPads because Siri is hidden inside objects whose primary function is something other than “personal assistant” in people’s minds (watch, TV, phone or tablet, as opposed to “Siri.”) Alexa is present thanks to the Amazon Echo. Siri is absent because she has no such counterpart; no physical manifestation.

Siri is a ghost. Alexa is that cool, fun, glowing tube right there on the counter.

Apple would do well to not discount the psychology behind why people use certain features, even though cold, hard logic tells them it’s a redundant and unnecessary product.

An “Apple Echo” device would sell in the millions of units per quarter and boost Siri usage immensely.MacDailyNews, June 15, 2016

Something along the lines of Amazon Echo is what Apple should have done if run by competent, forward-thinking management. When Apple finally does do their version of Amazon Echo (and they will get around to doing such a product eventually) they will rightly be called a follower. The company had all of the ingredients to make their own Echo before Amazon, except for the vision, it seems.MacDailyNews, March 29, 2016

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s late, delayed, limited HomePod is looking more and more like something I don’t want – November 27, 2017
Why Apple’s HomePod is three years behind Amazon’s Echo – November 21, 2017
Under ‘operations genius’ Tim Cook, product delays and other problems are no longer unusual for Apple – November 20, 2017
Apple delays HomePod release to early 2018 – November 17, 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook: The ‘operations genius’ who never has enough products to sell at launch – October 23, 2017
Apple reveals HomePod smart home music speaker – June 5, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
Apple is misplaying the hand Steve Jobs left them – November 30, 2016
Apple delays AirPod rollout – October 26, 2016
Apple delays release of watchOS 2 due to bug – September 16, 2015
Apple delays HomeKit launch until autumn – May 14, 2015
Apple delays production of 12.9-inch ‘iPad Pro’ in face of overwhelming iPhone 6/Plus demand – October 9, 2014
Tim Cook’s mea culpa: iMac launch should have been postponed – April 24, 2013

41 Comments

  1. Not only is it difficult to win a lost customer back, once you get out of the walled garden on one product you start wondering what other products might also be better/easier/different.

    I was holding out for HomePod when they got delayed – I bought an Echo Dot on this Black Friday sale, liked it so much within the first day of using, bought a second with a rechargeable battery speaker base. Then on the second day, I realized that Amazon Music does everything I want / need so I cancelled my MUSIC subscription.

    1. I just did the same thing, actually. I liked the Dot so much I bought a second one the day after it arrived. I gave Amazon Music unlimited a try and realized it does what I needed for the house. On top of that, Alexa blows Siri out of the water in terms of accuracy and speed. I was very surprised to realize just how far behind Siri seems to be. I love my Apple products, but they are going to lose to Amazon on this front if they don’t step it up.

      1. Ditto for me … I was hoping to go HomePod as an end of year expense and couldn’t resist a $29 experiment and I get the same way .. 1 HomePod or 4 Dots with attached speakers on a couple … no I’m in and I had that same feeling .. hmmm what else is good outside the apple ecosystem.. just a thought that popped in my head .. I am all apple from the Apple II and a stockholder.. I don’t want to believe Amazon has this advantage but my experience is they are way ahead. More accurate, useful and much faster. More natural. And the amazon music option played out with me just as you said. Disappointing and hoping they get it together and have multiple options available.

        1. When I saw Amazon Music iPhone and CarPlay apps, the Apple Music subscription was done!

          So by delaying a $350 speaker I was looking forward to, I instead spent $60 for 2 Dots, $30 for Dot speaker battery base and $20 for a Dot outlet wall mount ($110 total), and I’m now saving $120/year on Apple Music subscription!

          I have a virtual assistant that is far more accurate (rarely needs to be corrected), much faster in response, responds from anywhere in the house (half the time Siri doesn’t even respond from my WATCH) and the ability to have skills added to it – like SiriusXM and SmartThings.

          SmartThings was my first first non-Apple endeavor as I got tired of waiting for an Apple Home Automation solution. I am now so heavily invested in SmartThings, that I’m not going to give up on them to start over with HomeKit. The SmartThings skill on Echo is awesome! It actually controls Hue lights and Nest Thermostat better than their own skills!!

          My second non-Apple endeavor was Roku. When I became a cord-cutter, the Siri remote for AppleTV made the whole experience with SlingTV or DirecTV NOW unbearable. I had hoped that Apple would replace the Siri remote on AppleTV4K, but nope, they doubled down, so I decided to give Roku a chance. I ended up replacing 3 (of 4) AppleTVs in the house with Rokus, leaving only the AppleTV in the main entertainment center for streaming iTunes content, but … I have barely touched the AppleTV since putting Rokus in my house.

          So what’s next Apple? I’m sitting here waiting to text money to people … should I just try Vemo instead??

      2. The sad part is that Amazon listens in to ALL you conversations and does unknown things with that info.

        We’re still trying to track down which app on my wife’s phones is eavesdropping and then mailing here advertisements.

        Once visit to Home Depot with me and she’s getting mailings on things we talked about while there.

    2. Give trolling a break..
      No one is going to switch out of the Apple ecosys becouse of the dot.
      Apple customers are patiently waiting for a real speaker sys which also includes a digital assitant .

      1. Expressing a contrary viewpoint of my experience is not “trolling.” I have all Apple products, bub. I’ve been die hard Apple since my first computer: A PowerMac 6100 that I specced out. If you don’t think Siri is way behind Alexa, you must not have used it. This is a serious concern for Apple in the homespace. They’re going to lose out over a VERY LATE $350 speaker.

    3. I was holding out for the Home Pod, but I saw an add for the Echo and decided that the Black Friday price of $79 made it worth a flier. Two days after I installed, I picked up a Dot for the bedroom to use as an alarm clock. I think it is brilliant, and Alexa functions flawlessly. This is my first foray outside the walled garden, and I am glad I did it.

    1. Any technology product sold in a multipack, is either marginal quality, generic, for both. Of course, there’s no comparison btwn the Echo and the HomePod, except one is being marketed and sold much better than the other.

    2. Why not, exactly? It’s Siri with a really good speaker to play music. A Dot has Alexa, plays the same music, and you can add a really good speaker to it as well. They both control connected home devices. They both answer questions etc. I’m sure Apple is making a really nice sounding speaker… but at the core, they’re the same product category.

    1. Both play music. Both have assistants. Both control home devices. Umm.. yeah, the Dot certainly has something to do with the Homepod. A $30 product does the same thing Apple still hasn’t delivered. I totally get that the home pod will undoubtedly sound great and is a premium product, but let’s not pretend that Alexa products somehow have NOTHING to do with Siri in a speaker.

      1. So, to give priority to the job you are paying for instead of you political agenda is homophobic? You must be a heterophobic or just a “I hate white all white people for no other reason but just because they are white”

  2. “every user lost to another ecosystem is much, much more difficult to convert into a customer when you finally get your ass in gear and ship.”

    Would that be like how Apple came late to the party and failed so badly with:
    – computers
    – music players
    – tablets
    – lightweight portables
    – cell phones

    1. There were no leaders in music players. There were no leaders in tablets. There were no leaders in portables. And cell phones were a fractured mess when Apple entered the market. I’d say, unfortunately for Apple, Amazon may be “Apple” in the case of home-based assistant technology. Amazon is clearly the leader right now, by far. I didn’t understand the point of Alexa until I bought a Dot on a whim last Friday. Now I get it. It’s actually useful in the home and Alexa has the advantage over Siri right now. Not only is Alexa better at understanding commands (It misheard me ONCE, unlike Siri which mishears just about every request I throw at it), but its skills are also much more robust. At the end of the day, Homepod may help close the gap, but if Siri is as frustrating on it as it is my iphone and doesn’t start getting faster upgrades, they’re going to lose the home space… MDN is right on this one. Apple rested on its laurels and Amazon shot past them. If all they deliver is an iPod HiFi with Siri, they might be in trouble. And if not and it’s a great product, I’ll gladly buy one to keep my Apple ecosystem synced. Until then, Alexa will be a common word in our house.

  3. HomePod is going to miss next Christmas too, they have everyone working on fixing macOS so you can’t get root just by logging in as root with no password.

    Come on, Tim. It’s becoming embarrassing and hard to continue to excuse.

  4. Was no one listening when Apple announced HomePod? They said on stage it would be available in December in only three countries and then rolled out to more in 2018. I took that to mean back in June that it wasn’t going to be available as a Christmas gift. But maybe I just listen better than most people 🙂

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