Apple is separating the new smartphones into its usual low-cost versus high-cost categories, with big differences between the two models coming down to the camera, display, and battery life.
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Apple Drops HomePod Price to $299, Down From $349
Similar price reductions have also appeared in other regions and territories on Thursday, with the price of a HomePod in the United Kingdom falling from £319 to £279, for instance.
Apple's expensive HomePod speaker accounted for just six percent of the U.S. smart speaker installed base through the fourth quarter of 2018, according to a February report.
Research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimates that the U.S. installed base of smart speakers reached 66 million units last quarter of 2018, suggesting HomePod sales in the country totaled around 3.96 million units since the speaker became available to order in January 2018. Apple does not disclose exact HomePod sales figures.
By comparison, the Amazon Echo and Google Home reportedly accounted for 70 percent and 24 percent of the installed base respectively, with both products proving to be popular holiday gifts.
In April 2018, well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple was "mulling" a "low-cost version" of the HomePod, potentially due to shipments of the current version being "far below market expectations." A report out of China said the lower-cost HomePod could be priced between $150 and $200 in the United States.