Apple releases new iPhone as HomePod sales dfisappoint

Apple’s past several days have been marked by two things: new iPhone and talk of HomePod sales disappointing.

The tech giant on Monday unveiled the new red iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The handset is part of a (PRODUCT)RED lineup of devices from Apple that makes donations to fight AIDS. But while Apple was trying to celebrate that release, a Bloomberg report surfaced, saying the company has been disappointed by HomePod smart speaker sales and has cut its forecasts. To pile on, a judge this week awarded a long-time Apple patent foe, VirnetX, a $502 million cash windfall.

Apple has reportedly responded to these sluggish sales by cutting some orders with one its Homepod contract manufacturers. The lower-than-expected interest has also resulted in excess inventory at Apple Stores, with some locations selling fewer than ten units a day, according to Bloomberg.

Apple’s Homepod is competing with products from Amazon, Google and Sonos, which are often sold for a lower price. At the same time, the Homepod is lacking some key functionality offered by competing devices, including the ability to access third-party music services and advanced assistant integrations.

Apple instead decided to focus on sound quality for the Homepod, but has been slow to deliver on some promises in this area as well. Two months after its commercial launch, the Homepod can still not be paired for stereo listening or multi-room audio. The company has promised to add these features later this year.