“Early sales forecasts suggested that Apple could sell up to 10 million HomePod units this year, but recent supply-chain analysis has drastically lowered those estimates. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, for example, said that Apple may sell only 2 million–2.5 million HomePods over the course of 2018. And Bloomberg reported that despite strong preorder sales, in the weeks since its launch, some Apple Stores have only been selling 10 HomePod speakers a day,” Christina Bonnington writes for Slate. “For comparison, Apple had sold roughly 2.5 million Apple Watches during its first month of sale alone. In 2017, the first year that AirPods were available, Apple sold around 12.5 million.”

“Price is only one factor in the HomePod’s story,” Bonnington writes. “Siri’s limited functionality as a virtual assistant is one large turn-off. Thanks to Amazon’s vast library of third-party Alexa skills, its digital assistant can be used to check your calendar for the day, order a pizza or an Uber, and place orders for household items through Amazon. Both devices can work in conjunction with other smart home products, but Siri’s options are more limited. The HomePod is also heavily reliant on iPhone integration for full functionality, while Google and Amazon’s speakers largely stand on their own. However, given music is the central focus of Apple’s smart speaker, it would seem that Apple’s walled garden approach to music streaming may be the thing most deeply in need of reconsideration.”

“What happens next is up to Apple. It can open up HomePod to integration with third-party streaming music players—and improve Siri integration with those services—or it can keep the HomePod tightly locked into the iTunes and Apple Music ecosystem,” Bonnington writes. “The HomePod needs to embrace today’s leading audio services rather than shut them out, or it’ll never grow beyond a niche product.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: iCal’ed for future use.

HomePod’s price tag is a filter. It skims off the cream and delivers it to Apple.

Bonnington emphasizes Spotify far beyond its importance. Let’s wait to see where Spotify is in 36 months, shall we?

Apple Music has rendered Spotify’s future decidedly dimmer.

The best customers are those who pay. As demonstrated by years of data, form disparate sources, those paying customers are also significantly more likely to be iPhone owners than those who’ve settled for poor iPhone facsimiles. A healthy portion of these coveted customers will leave for Apple’s comprehensive offering which offers better family rates, more music, likely exclusives, and seamless integration across all Apple devices. It’ll even work with crappy Windows PCs and Android phones eventually (not that those are likely to be Spotify’s paying customers, but whatever, some of them will join Apple Music and maybe even graduate to Apple devices because of it).

Spotify could quickly be left with an unprofitable system, with a dwindling music library because they cannot afford to pay music royalties. — MacDailyNews, June 9, 2015

Spotify is a poor man’s Apple Music. The demographics in this race, as ever, greatly favor Apple in the long run. — MacDailyNews, January 3, 2018

You’d have to be stupid to subscribe to Spotify when it has 33% fewer tracks than Apple Music for the same price. Apple Music boasts a catalog of 45 million songs; Spotify has a mere subset of just 30 million. Don’t be stupid. If you’re still subscribing to Spotify, it’s past time for you to cancel it and upgrade to Apple Music. (See also: How to move your Spotify playlists to Apple Music.)MacDailyNews, February 6, 2017

Apple Music hits 40 million paid subscribers milestone – April 4, 2018
Apple Music hits 38 million paid subscribers – March 12, 2018
Apple Music expands student membership pricing to 82 new countries – February 13, 2018
Apple Music poised to knock off Spotify – February 12, 2018
Apple Music was always going to win – February 6, 2018
Apple Music on track to overtake Spotify, become No. 1 streaming service in U.S. this summer – February 4, 2018
Apple Music and Spotify now account for the majority of music consumption in the UK – January 3, 2018
Spotify files for its IPO – January 3, 2018
Spotify hit with $1.6 billion lawsuit from music publisher – January 2, 2018
Apple Music passes Pandora and Spotify in mobile usage – March 29, 2017
Spotify hits 50 million paid subscribers – March 3, 2017
Apple Music surpasses 20 million paid members 17 months after launch – December 6, 2016
Oh ok, Spotify listeners are upgrading to Apple Music – July 19, 2015
Spotify CEO claims to be ‘ok’ with Apple Music – June 9, 2015