Barclays: Apple’s AirPods sales continue to grow, HomePod sales have been ‘underwhelming’

“Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis and his associates recently spent a week in Asia meeting with companies within Apple’s supply chain, and today they shared research on iPhones, AirPods, and the HomePod gathered from their trip,” Joe Rossignol reports for MacRumors.

“In terms of AirPods, the analysts expect Apple will continue to increase production of the wireless earphones. Barclays forecasts that AirPods shipments will likely approach 30 million units in 2018,” Rossignol reports. “AirPods remain backordered on Apple’s online store, with orders placed today estimated for delivery within 12 to 13 days in the United States and several other countries.”

“In contrast with the popularity of AirPods, Barclays says HomePod sales have been ‘underwhelming’ so far,” Rossignol reports. “The research note says Apple planned an initial production run of 6-7 million units, but it’s unclear how many have sold.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: HomePod is an absolute steal at $349. Apple should focus on educating the general public about HomePod in terms of sound quality and privacy via marketing efforts.

A high profile ad campaign featuring, for example, Taylor Swift, Drake, Blake Shelton and other well-known musicians using their HomePods would go a long, long way.

Apple debuts new HomePod short film directed by Spike Jonze and starring FKA twigs – March 6, 2018
Apple HomePod hits 3 percent in U.S. market share – February 22, 2018
Here are the Siri commands you’ll use most with your HomePod – February 21, 2018
How to control your home with the HomePod – February 20, 2018
Jean-Louis Gassée: The trouble with Apple HomePod reviews – February 20, 2018
Steve Crandall: Apple’s HomePod is the next big step in home audio – February 13, 2018
Apple HomePod: The audiophile perspective plus 8 1/2 hours of measurements; HomePod is 100% an audiophile-grade speaker – February 12, 2018
Apple’s HomePod is actually a steal at $349 – January 26, 2018
Digital Trends previews Apple’s HomePod: Impressive sound coupled with strong privacy – January 26, 2018
Hands on with Apple’s HomePod: Attractive, ultra-high-quality speaker, an excellent Siri ambassador – January 26, 2018
Apple’s HomePod, the iPod for your home – January 25, 2018
One hour with Apple’s new HomePod smart speaker – January 25, 2018
Apple’s iOS 11.3 beta delivers AirPlay 2 with multi-room playback – January 25, 2018
How Apple is positioning the HomePod and why – January 24, 2018
How I got talked into buying an Apple HomePod despite my reservations – January 24, 2018
Tim Cook says audio quality puts HomePod ahead of ‘squeaky-sounding’ competition – January 24, 2018
Apple’s HomePod arrives February 9th, available to order this Friday, January 26th – January 23, 2018
Apple delays HomePod release to early 2018 – November 17, 2017
Apple reveals HomePod smart home music speaker – June 5, 2017


  1. a big selling point that has ‘gee wow’ factor that Apple should emphasize is the the HomePod is truly an ‘intelligent’ speaker in the sense that it has an iPhone chip inside it, analyzing the room and individually adjusting the multiple speakers with advanced computing. No other speaker has a powerful chip like that inside and no manufacturer has Apple’s hardware – software chops (Google for example might be good at software but sucks at hardware)

    Just advertising on TV (in mostly wordless ads) that it can play all kinds of music and has sounds great I think is insufficient as EVERY MANUFACTUER says their speaker sounds great. They have to convey WHY their speaker sounds better.

    People love their iPhones. Surely the idea of ‘the Speaker with the iPhone brain’ will resonate?

    all that said , I don’t trust analysts with their ‘supply chain’ talk, they are often wrong. If Apple has a good product it will sell.

  2. If Apple wants to score bigger with the HomePod, they need to expand the line, which I doubt is in their cards. Until it can be part of a whole-home system that includes TV, home theatre, AV set-up interconnectivity and zone control (like Sonos already does, and Bose is approaching), the HomePod is an expensive little one-off with a fairly small market. Not to mention that Alexa and Google are eating Siri’s lunch, these days, in terms of brand awareness and market penetration (as well as competence).

  3. Airplay is a joke. If you want to listen to your HomePod and watch OTA cable on your IPad there are digital media rights issues so it won’t play. Why Bluetooth is not an option is beyond me.
    Limiting connectivity in this manner diminishes the market even more.

    1. Bluetooth sucks. Wifi usually sucks, being a maze of security and password games, competing networks, and usually horrid spotty coverage in most buildings. If you want to transmit 4k video or multichannel sound without lags and dropouts, use wires.

      No matter how hard Apple pushes the marketing about sound quality, the reality remains that the Homepod is very much a kitchen contraption, it’s useless against proper hifi. It is competing against cheaper voice assistants with worse sound and almost as rubbish assistance to your deepest queries. The difference is that Siri will fill the room with its Wikipedia references and repetitious canned pop music.

    1. Exactly. It’s ridiculous. “Nice HomePod! Sounds Great! Say, what’s all that other stuff sitting right next to it?” “Oh, that’s so I can hear my TV.”

      1. Yep. My 5.1 surround system has optical inputs for my teevee so that anything onscreen can be played throughout the system. Pretty good channel separation, too. A subwoofer that can scare the neighbors. I love scifi movies, and spaceships and stuff blowing up sounds amazing!

        Oh, and it’s bluetooth equipped so it plays anything I can play on my phones, my iPads, my friend’s Android stuff – anything.

        And it was less than $349, and it’s paid for already.

  4. Or, and stay with me on this, Barclays is making things up so they can purchase a stronger position at a lower price? They have no idea how many HomePod’s Apple planned to make, how many they have made, how many they have sold, or how many are selling. Also “underwhelming” to whom exactly? That’s a deliberately vague enough term to allow them to not get sued and still have enough wiggle room to “revise” later… This seems to be a “narrative piece” meaning that after Apple shows that they’ve taken 10-15% of the market in short order, the general wisdom will change. This is the same as early AirPod stories, which always claimed “under performing” sales (even though the low number was due to production issues), and magically this changed after Apple’s “other” category grew substantially after their release. This also follows the Apple Watch pattern, and the early iPhone stories citing “channel checks” which said Apple would “never sell 1 million iPhones by the end of 2007” (which have all turned out to be total nonsense. Why this stuff gets continually recycled with every new product is beyond me.

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