by Jason Snell
Can Apple explain its home strategy?
Zac Hall of 9to5 Mac has some questions about the discontinuation of the HomePod:
Remember when Mac users had similar concerns about pro machines in Apple’s lineup? Apple rightfully held a roundtable event with a small group of press to communicate its commitment to professional customers with the pending release of an iMac Pro and development on a next-generation Mac Pro.
That strategy was very effective at taking a step toward earning back the trust that was lost over time with Apple’s pro customers. Apple’s Friday night statement that it’s happy with the response to HomePod mini and no longer producing the original HomePod needs a lot of follow up.
Apple has a Home division at the company that works exclusively on smart home products. I would love to see Apple let this team address these questions directly and restore the community’s trust in Apple’s home efforts.
I sure hope this is all setting us up for a roll-out of Apple’s new home strategy, but I’m concerned that the company is still utterly at sea when it comes to this stuff. Like the Apple TV 4K, the HomePod was an overpriced, overengineered product left to sit on price lists unchanged for years. The competition has been better or cheaper or both.
Apple also abandoned the home router market… and its competitors have rushed in. HomeKit seems stalled, though perhaps it’s just waiting for the CHOP to drop.
Apple could do some interesting things in the home-tech area. But I’m just not seeing any signs of it. Like Zac, I’d love someone at Apple to sit down and explain what its vision is for the home—but that would require it to have one.