Apple Delays HomePod Smart Speaker System, Needs ‘More Time’

Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

1 Response

  1. Harvey Lubin says:

    The delay of Apple’s HomePod may have nothing to do with Apple’s ability to deliver new products on time (to meet Apple’s own arbitrary deadline for release). In fact, it is probable that the announced delay may have nothing at all to do with Apple.

    The phenomenal demand for some of Apple’s recently released products, including the Apple Watch 3, iPhone X, and iPhone 8 Plus, has taken Apple (and everyone else) by surprise. Apple’s suppliers have been put into “overdrive” trying to churn out these products, as well as Apple’s other products like iPads and MacBooks that have been increasing in popularity (as evidenced by the recent quarterly report). And with the iMac Pro, another major new product, to be released in December adding to suppliers’ loads, it is highly probable that those assemblers have reached a limit in production capacity, even with the hiring of additional seasonal workers.

    The most likely reason why Apple has had to delay the launch of the HomePod is that Apple had to prioritize its suppliers’ production load. The HomePod (rather than the iMac Pro) was the most likely candidate to delay in order to not unnecessarily slow down production and delivery of Apple’s other important products.

    Apple’s suppliers have a finite capacity for assembling and delivering Apple products, and no contingency plan can overcome those limitations. If for example, we take just one Apple product, the iPhone X, and realize that the silicon fabricators, parts manufacturers, shipping and delivery, and assemblers are currently producing millions of units of that one product every week, it is easy to imagine just how challenging it is for Apple to meet demand for all of its products simultaneously.

    I think that it is highly probable that Apple has already completed all of the R&D requirements for the HomePod hardware and software. The HomePod is likely ready for production right now, but Apple had to make a strategic decision to delay that production in order to better fulfill the timely deliveries of Apple’s other products.

    Apple is in the enviable position of having to delay a new product (which as you wrote, will affect Apple’s holiday sales of that product) to allow the expeditious delivery of Apple’s more crucial, and more sought-after products.

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