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Cheap HomePod To Offer “Short-Term Boost” Only

KGI Securities analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, forecasts Apple’s ‘affordable’ HomePod will not provide long-term benefit to the Californian giant’s bottom line, instead only offering a “short-term boost”.

As previously reported, sales of Apple’s HomePod have fallen short of targets, with inventory piling up, and manufacturer orders slashed.

According to Business Insider, Kuo predicts HomePod shipments are “far below market expectations”.

With 1 million – 1.5 million HomePod units sold since launch this year, Kuo estimates Apple will only sell 2 million – 2.5 million this year.

As per previous reports, rumours suggest Apple is working on a more affordable version of its smart speaker. The HomePod currently retails for A$499.

Kuo has confirmed such claims, however, asserts the affordable version will only provide a “short-term boost”:

“We believe Apple is mulling a low-price model of HomePod. However, even if a low-price version is commercialized, it will only provide a short-term boost”.

“We attribute potentially lacklustre sales to: 1. an uninspiring user experience with the voice assistant function, Siri, compared to competitors; and 2. a high sales price, which could undermine demand despite excellent sound quality”.

Previously, Kuo forecast Apple would ship up to 12 million HomePod smart speakers in 2018.

Consensus is Apple’s integration of artificial intelligence, and voice assistant ingenuity is notably less powerful than rivals Google Home and Amazon’s Echo.

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