Excess inventory of Apple HomePods is piling up at Apple stores, as the smart speaker has struggled to make a dent in the competitive market led by Amazon’s Echo, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Pre-orders of the $349 speaker were strong and the device sold well early on, but Bloomberg reports that Apple has since cut sales forecasts and some orders from manufacturers. Citing data from Slice Intelligence, Apple captured about a third of the smart speaker market in the final week of January, prior to its release in February, but that number dwindled to 10 percent in the first 10 weeks of sales.
Apple has differentiated its speaker from that of Amazon and Google by focusing more on the sound quality than the capabilities of the digital assistant that runs it. But Bloomberg reports that buyers expected capabilities similar to the Amazon Alexa and Google Home and more independence from the iPhone.