Wednesday, Jan 25, 2023, 15:12 Hardware

HomePod – Long Wait Times For New Orders

Coming as a surprise to many, Apple released a new generation of the HomePod barely more than a week ago. One quick look at the new product revels a few prominent differences between the first and second generation: The control panel on the top of the device is shaped slightly differently and is now more reminiscent of the HomePod mini and Cupertino has also reduced the number of built-in microphones and tweeters, as well as provided support for better smart home integration. However, there's still some doubt whether the HomePod (2nd generation) can overcome its predecessor's lack of success and meet better reception on the market.

US Deliveries Reach Into End Of February – Middle Of March In Other Countries
The HomePod has been available for preorder since January 18th – with the earliest possible delivery date set for February 3rd in the US and Europe. However, such an early arrival date has since become illusory – as only those quickest to the purchase draw were able to secure an early-February delivery. Deliveries in the US are currently looking at a 3-4 week wait for orders placed today, or an arrival between February 15th and 23rd with express shipping (+$US8). Interestingly enough, orders placed with standard shipping (free) arrive with a postponement of only one day and are currently projected to arrive between the 16th and the 23rd of February. However, the white variant is still readily available in the USA. In Germany, the time window is March 8th to March 15th, whilst the Swiss will have to wait anywhere between 5–6 weeks for the arrival of their new HomePod. The Austrians have it the worst, with a necessary wait of 6–7 weeks. The color of the purchased HomePod makes no difference for the arrival time in most countries.

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In the UK, however, the white variant is still set to arrive by the 3rd of February, similarly to in the United States – whilst the devices in the "midnight" color are still looking at a wait of 5–6 weeks.

The HomePod's Difficult Market Position – Short Wait Times for MacBook Pro & Mac mini
The MacBook Pro 14" and 16" variants with the M2 Pro and M2 Max, as well as the Mac mini variants with M2 and M2 Pro, can still be ordered without at relatively reasonable wait times. In the US and Europe, standard variants will still even arrive by tomorrow. However, most configured variants won't be received until the first or second week of February. It remains unclear, whether Apple has adapted the smart speaker's production volume in hesitation – due to the first generation's lack of success, or whether there's more demand for the HomePod now making for longer wait times. The original HomePod found itself in a difficult position competing with its much more affordable competition – and it remains to be seen whether the successor sold for the same price will manage to overcome this entry barrier or not.

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