HomePod Turns Two, Lower-Priced Model Might Launch Later This Year

Today marks two years since Apple released the HomePod, with deliveries to customers and in-store availability having begun February 9, 2018 in the United States, Australia, and United Kingdom.

At launch, the HomePod cost $349, but Apple reduced its price to $299 in April 2019. Apple has never disclosed HomePod sales, instead grouping the speaker under its "Wearables, Home, and Accessories" category, which set a quarterly record of $10 billion in revenue over the final three months of 2019.


However, much of the growth of Apple's wearables business has been attributed to the Apple Watch and AirPods. Many estimates place the HomePod's worldwide market share at around just five percent.

Pricing is the HomePod's biggest obstacle. The speaker's two largest competitors in the Amazon Echo and Google Home have low-priced models that frequently retail for $49 or below, whereas only one HomePod model is available for $299. That may change in the near future, however, as Bloomberg last year reported that a lower-priced HomePod with fewer tweeters may launch as early as this year:

Apple is also working on a cheaper HomePod for as early as next year. The current $300 model hasn’t sold very well. The new model is likely to have two tweeters (a type of loudspeaker), down from seven in the current HomePod.

Apple has marketed the HomePod as a premium speaker that also has Siri, as opposed to a personal assistant that also plays music. Early reviews agreed that the sound quality is excellent, but found Siri to be lackluster.


Over the last few years, Apple has been steadily making the HomePod more useful by adding features such as Handoff support, multi-user voice detection, ambient sounds, and multi-room audio. Beyond a potential lower-cost model, however, it remains to be seen when Apple will release a second-generation HomePod. With the current model set to launch in India soon, we may still be some time away.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

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7 weeks ago
it's a great product. will buy a second
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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7 weeks ago
Never without line input.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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7 weeks ago


Have owned two HomePods and returned them both, sound quality is awful, and Siri is useless.


That’s just not true. The sound quality mightn’t be to your personal taste, and things like this are subjective, but a wide range of publications praised the high fidelity of HomePod audio.

I’d also take issue with your ‘useless’ statement re: Siri. If that were not also fakenews, I’d be at a loss to explain what it is in my kitchen that helps my family with various tasks & queries nearly every day (btw, not claiming Siri is perfect).
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
7 weeks ago
Please give me one I can plug into my existing sound system
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
7 weeks ago


it's a great product. will buy a second


do it. The stereo pair that i have sounds far far better than the single homepod did. really great soundstage and a lot of bass comes from this pair that i got for around $450.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
7 weeks ago
Can't attest to its sound quality as I have only listened to it in a shop, but I live open plan and didn't think much of it.

So a "premium" product compared to other bluetooth speakers selling in "premium" quantities.

Another big issue with smart speakers is lifetime. Companies that don't put in a dumb 3.5mm aux port, really need to put a "this device will be supported for 5 years after purchase at which point you will need to buy a new speaker" - thinking of the recent Sonos who-ha.

Perhaps it should be mandated that all speakers should have a 3.5mm port and guaranteed to work offline with it.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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