Apple to ship crippled, incomplete HomePod months late

“Those waiting eagerly for Apple’s HomePod smart speaker have now twice been disappointed,” Ben Lovejoy writes for 9to5Mac. “First, when Apple delayed the release from December until February, and a second piece of bad news now as the release date has been announced.”

Coming this year in a free software update, users will be able to play music throughout the house with multi-room audio. – Apple Inc.

“It’s not even yet 100% clear whether you’ll get stereo performance from two speakers before the update,” Lovejoy writes. “You’d certainly hope they’d manage that much, but that too may depend on the speakers communicating with each other.”

“The question facing would-be buyers is: buy now, and only have limited functionality for who knows how long, or wait until Apple has everything working before diving in?” Lovejoy writes. “It seems interest is waining as the delay and issues have continued. Back in November almost 60% of readers said they would be buying one. More recently, only 43% said yes.”

Read more, and take the polls, in the full article here.

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook
MacDailyNews Take: In 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook was paid well over a quarter of a million dollars per day ($279,452/day), yet his company cannot manage to ship a fully capable smart speaker 3 years, 3 months, 4 days and counting after Amazon invented the category.

Regardless of the profits and stock performance, many will say: Too many mistakes too richly rewarded. The recent lack of focus, timely performance, and vexing issues with quality control (that should not exist in the world’s most valuable company, 40+ years after inception) will, if continued, negatively impact the company and future executives years down the road, likely not the current set.MacDailyNews, December 28, 2017

Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber writes today, “How does this handle multiple people in the same home? That seems like a big question to remain unanswered before folks start plunking down $349. This feels like if Apple had started selling the iPod back in 2001 without ever having explained how the click wheel worked or how you synced music to it from iTunes, and instead just said ‘Trust us, it’s great.’ AirPlay 2 has been postponed until ‘later this year’ — and AirPlay 2 is required for using two HomePods in stereo or multi-room audio. Both of those features were promised all the way back in June when HomePod was announced.”

Exit question: How much would Apple Inc. be worth today had a Jeff Bezos-type CEO taken over the reins instead?MacDailyNews, November 21, 2017

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s HomePod arrives February 9th, available to order this Friday, January 26th – January 23, 2018
Apple CEO Tim Cook paid close to $102 million for fiscal 2017 – December 28, 2017
Apple’s Phil Schiller: We feel bad about the HomePod delay – December 8, 2017
Echo Dot was Amazon’s Black Friday – Cyber Monday bestseller as Apple’s delayed HomePod waits for 2018 release date – November 28, 2017
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

62 Comments

  1. I fear this thing will be an overpriced bomb. Google and Amazon are way ahead of Apple in this space and it’d take really compelling reasons for any of their customers to plunk down 350 bucks to switch to an Apple speaker. It’s gonna take compelling reasons for ANYONE to plunk down 350 bucks for an Apple speaker. I’m not confident in Apple in this case.

  2. For 2018 at least… one word… Sonos. No need to hassle with something that’s not fully baked when a Sonos 1 with Alexa will do everything and more than the 1.0 version of the HomePod. Maybe 2019…..

  3. This is ugly. Makes it look like Apple is some kind of a startup developing a “golden moment” product.

    Alternatively it feels like a bloated Microsoft operating system product with extensive need for drivers for every compatible product. On this product it seems Apple is collapsing under the weight of its own Airplay, Siri and Homekit technologies.

    Strategically, going it alone, they have not played their hand well at all. The press release announcement is even more disappointing. A really bad launch day for Apple. Product Management must be overwhelmed, or something. Clearly not the A-Team managing this product. Heads will roll over this one.

  4. If this story is remotely true, something is seriously wrong with Apple.

    Apple needs to “get back to basics”. It is very simple: UPDATE ALL OF YOUR COMPUTERS ONCE A YEAR and, on top of the line models, do a “spec” bump (more ram, storage, or faster processor or, even, a price adjustment (!!) ) every SIX MONTHS. Is that asking TOO MUCH from a 200 BILLION DOLLAR COMPANY??? !!!!

    Make your loyal customers feel like you want them!!!

    1. Agreed, they update their OS more than they probably need to, whilst individual apps could probably do with being updated outside of the OS cycle. They probably don’t need to update every component in every Mac every year, but there are certain things where they should be keeping them massively more current than they are. To be fair, these aren’t problems that have only appeared with Tim Cook, but they’ve certainly not improved and arguably they’re in a better position to do it now than they have been before.

    2. Well said, rp. Whew, as much as I have used and loved Apple products since 1986 Mac Plus, and stood by them in the ’90s, they are in my opinion, trying to make too many things. UPDATE ALL OF YOUR COMPUTERS ONCE A YEAR… etc. is RIGHT! Dagnabbedit.

  5. $700 is a lot to spend to get stereo speakers for playing streaming music through. I’m sure the HomePod will be fine for what it is, but Apple need more than this one offering. Even if I was going to buy a HomePod there’s no way on earth I’m going to buy one for every room in my house – even if I had that much money to throw away. Apple should add the microphone/Hey Siri to Apple TV and/or a stand alone device to supplement the HomePod.

  6. Well, indicating in the release notes that a future upgrade will add functionality is not a surprise, Many companies promise this, sometimes they deliver, sometimes they don’t .

    Apple so far has usually delivered.. but still considering the size and resources Apple has at its disposal, you’d think they could get this out on time and fully functional;

    I think Tim should look for his own replacement with someone that can actually focus on Apple and not being an SJW.

  7. and even longer than that since Apple was exploring the concept. How incompetent does this company have to get before they change their ways. And yet they are talking about yet another Campus to play with while they fail to build products.

  8. Every significant home run product Apple has ever built has been done by small highly focused teams, Apple quite frankly has to many employees.
    Apple I – 1 Guy
    Apple II – 1 Guy
    Macintosh – Small Team
    iPod – Small Team
    iPod Touch (Predecessor to iPhone) – Small Team
    iPhone – Small Team

  9. I just don’t understand why Apple can’t do better considering the nearly unlimited amount of resources the company has. In theory, Apple should have far more financial resources than any other company in America. Looking at Apple’s desktop and notebook product lineup, I would never imagine that was the case. There’s really nothing Apple is doing that any smaller and far less-funded company couldn’t do. They keep saying how Jony Ive is such a great designer but Apple’s computer products really don’t seem all that great. Apple was never a trend-follower but I don’t see anything wrong with following a trend and then improving upon it.

    Why can’t Apple offer at least one line of computer products that can be customized-to-order like Windows PCs can be done. How would a customized desktop hurt Apple that badly? Why does Apple have to fall behind even HP when it comes to desktop offerings?

    I have no desire to stop buying Apple products. I like them even if they’re not cutting-edge. I don’t need a cutting-edge computer for my daily use. Sometimes I just have to wonder why Apple does the things it does when it seems they could do a lot better to beat the competition in all areas. I don’t mind paying more for a product but it better be a class-leading product that puts other products from rival companies in that category to shame. It doesn’t seem that I’m asking for too much from Apple but maybe I am and I don’t realize it.

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