Apple’s HomePod appears to be resonating with consumers – as of Thursday (Feb. 8), Apple’s site was already sold out of its new voice-activated speaker.
According to TechCrunch, the HomePod is sold out on Apple’s website a day ahead of its official launch, although some retailers may have some units in stock. Customers could get lucky and find some available at their local Apple stores starting Friday (Feb. 9).
TechCrunch noted that positive reviews for the high-end HomePod, which has Siri built in, boosted pre-order demand ahead of the launch, in spite of the speaker’s lofty $349 price tag. Customers who placed early pre-orders received shipping notices that the device will be delivered on Feb. 9.
The HomePod’s sound quality – one of the main reasons the Cupertino, California-based technology company took so long to bring the smart speaker to market – has emerged as a positive for Apple, with reviewers giving it accolades on that front. According to The Verge, Apple’s smart speaker “does more to make music sound better than any other speaker of its kind has ever done before” – but the publication goes on to say that most consumers would be “better served by other smart speakers that sound almost as good,” unless they “live entirely inside Apple’s walled garden.”
The Wall Street Journal highlighted the device’s superior sound quality, calling the HomePod the “best matching speaker” for Apple’s music offerings, while USA Today highlighted more affordable, less exclusive competitors – like the $199 Sonos or Amazon’s $99 Echo, compared with the much higher asking price of the newest Apple release. It appears to be “designed for someone with 100 percent Apple product buy-in, who lives in the iOS/Mac ecosystem, who subscribes to Apple Music and who just wants basic smart speaker functions,” stated BuzzFeed’s review.