I have a hunch Apple is waiting for AirPlay 2 to take its HomePod strategy to the next level; see, e.g., AirPlay 2 multiroom audio: Hands-on with the iOS 11.4 beta (CNet); also see Channel checks, sales data on HomePod likely as wrong as it was about Apple Watch in 2015 (AppleInsider)
"During the HomePod’s first 10 weeks of sales, it eked out 10 percent of the smart speaker market, compared with 73 percent for Amazon’s Echo devices and 14 percent for the Google Home, according to Slice Intelligence. Three weeks after the launch, weekly HomePod sales slipped to about 4 percent of the smart speaker category on average, the market research firm says. Inventory is piling up, according to Apple store workers, who say some locations are selling fewer than 10 HomePods a day. Apple declined to comment. The shares gained 1.4 percent to $173.83 in early trading.Apple’s Stumbling HomePod Isn’t the Hot Seller It Wanted - Bloomberg
Apple had an opportunity to put the HomePod at the center of a new ecosystem of smart home and other gadgets that aren’t glued to the iPhone. But the small, wireless speaker is not that product. Though the HomePod delivers market-leading audio quality, consumers have discovered it’s heavily dependent on the iPhone and is limited as a digital assistant."