Smaller, Lower-Priced HomePod Appears Increasingly Closer to Launching

Apple is rumored to have a smaller, lower-priced HomePod on deck for later this year, and there are increasing signs that the new model could be on the horizon.


In addition to Best Buy offering the HomePod on sale for $199.99 this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman notes that Apple employees are now able to purchase up to 10 HomePods at a 50 percent discount, up from a limit of two. The larger purchase limit could be part of Apple's efforts to clear out inventory of the current HomePod ahead of the new model.


In addition, the HomePod was listed as "sold out" on Apple's online store in the United States last week, although only briefly.

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, but Siri is still widely criticized. To that end, Gurman previously noted that the smaller HomePod will coincide with Siri improvements later this year.

At launch in 2018, the HomePod cost $349, but Apple reduced the price of the speaker to $299 in April 2019. Apple has never disclosed HomePod sales, instead grouping the speaker under its "Wearables, Home, and Accessories" category.

While the HomePod is positioned as a premium speaker, it has several low-priced competitors on the smart assistant front, including the Amazon Echo and Google Home, which can often be purchased for as little as $25. Apple's smaller HomePod will likely have two tweeters, down from seven in the current model, according to Gurman's previous reporting.

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Top Rated Comments

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2 weeks ago
This sounds less like a "mini" HomePod and more like a complete replacement. Otherwise, why bother clearing out inventory unless you know that the new version is going to severely hamper sales of the old version. I don't recall Apple ever marking down a product by this much?

I have three of these now. Maybe the new one isn't a Mini at all, but the same thing with better hardware. I can't imagine how they'd make the hardware much better though. The real issue is ......... Siri. Or maybe the next one will have built-in Bluetooth?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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2 weeks ago
“Smaller, lower priced” basically means the audio quality goes down towards Bluetooth speaker/“digital personal assistant” territory. Unless Apple is going to launch a subwoofer to go along with these things.


I get that Apple is more privacy friendly, but can a HomePod Mini really go up against Amazon's Echo Dots and Google's Home Minis? They have the better AI assistant and are pretty cost effective.

They are cheaper because they are personal data honeypots. So the only way Apple can “compete” there is by selling its soul - and your privacy - down the river.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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2 weeks ago
Too bad in Europe their price is basically immutable. No discounts no nothing. I wouldn’t mind grabbing a couple more otherwise.

Maybe after it’s discontinued.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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2 weeks ago
Once it allows me to double it as a sound bar for my TV (not only Apple TV) then I'm in. Until then, I'll pass.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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2 weeks ago
$199 is a steal for the original HomePod if you're in it more for the quality of the speakers and less for a powerful virtual assistant. Sound-wise it competes with the Google Home Max that launched at double the price.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
2 weeks ago
I get that Apple is more privacy friendly, but can a HomePod Mini really go up against Amazon's Echo Dots and Google's Home Minis? They have the better AI assistant and are pretty cost effective.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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