Bye Bye Homepod

Journey

Doing a challenge to knock off 30 mock product interviews in a day. I guess it would be fun – would make me think on the feet and really drill down on a good structure for the answer.

Insight

Apple is discontinuing the original Apple Homepod and will go all in on Homepod Mini.

Homepod owners are very sad hearing this. They seem to have loved that big high-quality speaker even though it came with a very mediocre virtual assistant.

So what went wrong?

I believe it was marketing.

With Homepod, Apple focused on its weaknesses rather than its strengths. The company put a lot of emphasis on Siri and Apple Music – when the market considers Google Assistant/Alexa and Spotify as more superior services.

So what was it’s strength?

Audio Quality.

Apple Homepod was the best speaker you could get at its price point ($349).

If you just wanted to get a good virtual assistant, you could grab a cheap Amazon or Google smart speaker. Whereas if you wanted a really high-end speaker, you would have to go in the four to the five-figure range.

There was no middle ground.

The original Homepod fit perfectly in this niche category. However, maybe the marketing was bad, maybe there weren’t many people in that niche or maybe both, but the speaker sales didn’t look good.

Also, Apple was late in the game where Amazon was already crushing it. Amazon had captured the majority of the smart speaker market with its cheap devices and multi-channel marketing. So Apple’s $349 Homepod was directly competing with the apparently better $40 Echo Dot.

In the end, Apple witnessed that the $99 Homepod Mini was a huge success from the very start and might have concluded that it’s time to say goodbye to its predecessor.

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