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Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis and his associates recently spent a week in Asia meeting with companies within Apple's supply chain, and today they shared research on iPhones, AirPods, and the HomePod gathered from their trip.

homepod-airpods-800x602.jpg

In terms of AirPods, the analysts expect Apple will continue to increase production of the wireless earphones. Barclays forecasts that AirPods shipments will likely approach 30 million units in 2018, within the ballpark of KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's estimate of 26-28 million units.

AirPods remain backordered on Apple's online store, with orders placed today estimated for delivery within 12 to 13 days in the United States and several other countries. The wireless earphones have been in short supply since December after availability briefly improved during the fall months.

The lengthy shipping estimates for AirPods suggests Apple may still be having difficulties manufacturing the wireless earphones, can't keep up with strong demand, or is dealing with some combination of those two factors.

Apple doesn't disclose AirPod sales, but chief executive Tim Cook said the company's total revenue from wearables was up almost 70 percent year over year. Apple's broad "Other Products" category, including AirPods, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, set a new all-time record with $5.5 billion in revenue last quarter.

In contrast with the popularity of AirPods, Barclays says HomePod sales have been "underwhelming" so far. The research note says Apple planned an initial production run of 6-7 million units, but it's unclear how many have sold.

Apple will soon release a wireless charging case for AirPods to be used with its upcoming AirPower charging mat. Beyond that, Bloomberg reported that Apple may release new AirPods with "Hey Siri" functionality as early as this year, and a subsequent pair with water resistance as early as next year.

Barclays also believes Apple will release a new pair of AirPods in early 2019, but it's unclear if they are referring to the pair with "Hey Siri" functionality or the subsequent water-resistant ones.

And for the HomePod, a relatively sketchy rumor out of China suggests Apple may release a smaller version of the speaker later this year for between $150 and $200 in the United States. No further details were provided.

The research note corroborates Apple's widely rumored plans to launch a new iPhone X, a so-called iPhone X Plus, and a lower-priced 6.1-inch iPhone X-like device with some design compromises such as an LCD instead of OLED display, 3GB of RAM instead of 4GB, a single-lens rear camera, and no 3D Touch.

An excerpt from the research note, edited slightly for clarity:
Looking ahead, we expect iPhone X production to cease entirely before this year's launches and now believe the 6.1" LCD model could be half or even more of the mix in the second half of 2018. The LCD version will likely be tiered between the iPhone 8 and iPhone X2 with cut down features; we expect it will have only 3GB RAM, a single rear camera, and lack 3D Touch, but still have the new form factor with Face ID. In terms of lower Bill of Materials, we note the LCD screen module costs less than half the cost of an OLED one. Further, we expect the iPhone X2 and a Plus-sized version to also be launched, likely with 4GB of RAM, and Intel to gain modem share this cycle. However, rear 3D-sensing doesn't happen until 2019 or later.
The information about the new iPhones is entirely in line with research previously shared by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Article Link: Barclays Says AirPods Continue to Grow, HomePod Sales Have Been Underwhelming
 
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HarryKeogh

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2008
600
793
Improve Siri and I will gladly buy one. I got a Google Home for free and hate not being able to use it to the fullest (I'm an Apple Music subscriber).

Obviously, they have intelligent people working on it and they have all the resources so what's so special about Apple that their assistant is easily the worst of the bunch?
 
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Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,600
5,565
Canada
It's a speaker.

So why do Apple advertise Siri on its product page?

https://www.apple.com/homepod/

"Home to an intelligent assistant."

"HomePod is great at playing your music. But it can also tell you the latest news, traffic, sports, and weather. Set reminders and tasks. Send messages. Hand off phone calls. And HomePod is a hub for controlling your smart home accessories — from a single light bulb to the whole house — with just your voice.2"
 
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mi7chy

Suspended
Oct 24, 2014
7,646
8,518
Have yet to see anyone wearing those cigarette butts in public. If it's really true people are buying them then they must be using them in private.
 
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macsrcool1234

Suspended
Oct 7, 2010
1,551
2,128
what did they expect? siri is absolute *******. the fact that the speaker is very good doesn't help much when you consider that doesn't even have an input.
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Have yet to see anyone wearing those cigarette butts in public. If it's really true people are buying them then they must be using them in private.

Fuuny, but true. They look awful and they fit awful - but the convenience is amazing. i have two iphones, two macbooks, and as cringey as this sounds...it just works. I also hacked together wireless charging using the method going around on the internet and it really does make it worthwhile.
 
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kodos

macrumors 6502
May 1, 2010
420
1,029
I don't think anyone expected HomePod sales to be impressive. Probably the v2 product when they can introduce a cheaper (but still high quality) speaker with an improved Siri. Lack of Spotify kills it for our house. Not to mention you need an iPhone. We are Android on our phones even though we have Macs.

As far as Apple being "doomed"? Hardly. The problem is the other guys just don't have their act together either. Either Microsoft or Google could be a threat to Apple's dominance, if they really sweated the details.
 
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Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
5,527
9,174
San Jose, CA
Have yet to see anyone wearing those cigarette butts in public. If it's really true people are buying them then they must be using them in private.
I see people running around with them every day. They are becoming very common around here.

IMO the Airpods are the ultimate earphones for hands-free phone calls. I use them for almost all my calls now. They are also pretty good for music listening as long as the environment isn't too noisy. I just wish they had better and more reliable gesture controls (including volume adjustment).
 
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diamond3

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2005
858
306
As a HomePod owner, it sounds amazing, looks nice and the mic pickup is incredible compared to my limited interaction with Alexa devices. I have promise apple will provide an update in the near future for Siri functionality which is why I wasn't too annoyed with the product going into it. WWDC better provide some nice Siri updates.

I've been trying to use Apple Music and I think they need to blow up the entire iTunes experience with Apple Music. It's bad (IMO). The navigation of everything between buying music at the store, my library and Apple Music is a complete miss. For such a popular service, I feel like it's one of apple's worst designs.
 
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CLS727

macrumors 6502
Feb 5, 2018
255
374
Siri is a problem for ALL Apple devices.... so many simple things it cannot do... why can't I tell my phone to do something on my TV? Why can't my TV do things on my phone?

Siri needs to be an iCloud service that works exactly the same no matter which of your devices/computers you access it through.
 
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