Apple Considered Updating Original HomePod With Improved Processor Before Deciding to Discontinue It

Before deciding to discontinue the original HomePod, Apple had internally deliberated updating it to feature an improved processor, a move the tech giant may have seen as a last-ditch attempt to reignite demand for its smart speaker.

homepod feature triad
In a tidbit in his latest newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman says that before discontinuing the HomePod, Apple "had internally discussed making a new version with upgraded components." Gurman writes that the now-discontinued ‌HomePod‌ featured an A8 chip, the same chip introduced with the iPhone 6 and ‌iPhone‌ 6 Plus in 2014, implying that Apple had considered upgrading the chip to a more recent, more powerful processor.

Before discontinuing the original HomePod, I heard Apple had internally discussed making a new version with upgraded components. The processor in the original HomePod is an A8, which first hit the market seven years ago.

The A8 chip inside of the ‌HomePod‌ powers several features, including real-time analysis of music, spatial awareness, and more. Apple may have felt that an improved processor could have revitalized the ‌HomePod‌, which ever since its reveal at the Worldwide Developer's Conference in 2017, failed to hit mainstream adoption.

Apple had marketed features of the ‌HomePod‌, such as its spatial awareness and advanced audio technology, to the masses. Apple, however, struggled to market the ‌HomePod‌ in a way that appealed to the larger market, especially when other competitors, such as Amazon and Google, offered similar smart speakers at lower price points and tighter integration with third-party services. Apple's ‌HomePod‌ originally retailed for $349 but was later reduced to $299.

Apple followed up the full-sized ‌HomePod‌ with the HomePod mini this past fall. Compared to the original ‌HomePod‌, the ‌HomePod mini‌ features a much smaller form factor and retails at just $99. Additionally, Apple has slowly opened up the ‌HomePod‌ to third-party music services, such as Pandora and Deezer.

Bloomberg has previously reported that Apple is exploring a new kind of HomePod with built-in cameras, a screen, and an Apple TV. Although as previously reported and further reiterated today by Mark Gurman, the original ‌HomePod‌ design will not be making a comeback.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Don't Buy)

Top Stories

homepod feature triad

Apple No Longer Planning to Launch New HomePod in 2022

Monday March 29, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Apple was planning to launch an updated HomePod in 2022, prior to discontinuing the original HomePod, according to reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. The original HomePod was announced in 2017, representing Apple's first foray into the competitive smart speaker market. The HomePod was never replaced with an updated model, despite the HomePod mini launching with new ultra-wideband...
HomePod Crash Feature

HomePod Users Complain of Sudden Failures, Could Be Linked to 14.6 and 15 Updates

Wednesday July 7, 2021 10:06 am PDT by
Original HomePod models appear to be mysteriously failing at an increasing rate, according to multiple MacRumors readers and complaints on Reddit and Twitter. Many of the HomePods that have suddenly stopped working were running the beta version of the HomePod 15 software, but some affected users had HomePods with the 14.6 software installed. MacRumors reader Jose said that his 18-month-old...
HomePodandMini feature

New Mid-Range HomePod Could Be on the Way

Tuesday February 2, 2021 7:03 am PST by
After the success of the HomePod mini, Apple is reportedly mulling over offering a new, mid-range HomePod model that would sit between the original HomePod and the HomePod mini. Apple currently offers two HomePod models. One is the $299 HomePod, with seven tweeters, a four-inch woofer, six microphones, and the iPhone 6's A8 chip. The other is the $99 HomePod mini, which features a single...
HomePodandMini feature

Apple Discontinues Full-Sized HomePod to Focus on HomePod Mini

Friday March 12, 2021 5:14 pm PST by
Apple has discontinued the standard HomePod to focus exclusively on the HomePod mini, reports TechCrunch. First introduced four years ago, Apple's larger HomePod has never sold well because of its high price tag. Apple hoped that the HomePod's high-quality sound would give it an edge over competing products, but sales of the HomePod have always been lackluster with so many more affordable...
homepod feature purple

HomePod Now Unavailable From Apple in Canada After Being Discontinued [Updated]

Monday June 7, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
In March, Apple announced that the full-sized HomePod would be discontinued once supplies run out, following years of reportedly lackluster sales. Apple said it would focus its efforts on the HomePod mini released last year. As supplies start to dwindle, the HomePod is now listed as "Currently Unavailable" for delivery on Apple's online store in Canada. This comes just days after the HomePod ...
homepod mini thumb feature

HomePod mini Launches in Austria and Ireland, Coming to New Zealand Later This Month

Tuesday June 15, 2021 2:23 am PDT by
Apple last month announced that the HomePod mini would be made available in several new countries in June. Now, less than a month later, the HomePod mini has officially launched in Austria and Ireland, and is listed as "available in June" in New Zealand, suggesting availability in the next couple of weeks. The HomePod mini is the follow-up to the original HomePod released in 2018. The...
HomePodandMini feature orange

HomePod 15 Beta Software Adds Lossless Audio Support

Monday July 12, 2021 11:18 am PDT by
Apple today released a new beta version of the HomePod 15 software, and it appears that the update introduces Lossless Audio support for the HomePod and the HomePod mini. Back in June, Apple added higher-quality Lossless Audio and Spatial Audio support to Apple Music, but at launch, Lossless Audio was not available on the HomePod or the HomePod mini. Apple in a support document clarified...
HomePod FaceTime 3D Blue

Apple Is Rethinking the HomePod, Adding a Screen and Camera for FaceTime Calls

Wednesday May 19, 2021 3:19 am PDT by
After discontinuing the HomePod in March, Apple is now working on a new HomePod product with a screen, according to reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. Render of a HomePod with a built-in camera and a large display. In a recent report, Gurman mentioned that Apple has "been developing new speakers with screens and cameras." This suggests that Apple could be at least exploring the...
HomePod With Screen and Arm FaceTime Feature 2

Gurman: Combined HomePod/Apple TV Device Remains in Early Development

Friday May 28, 2021 5:57 am PDT by
Apple's work on a new combined HomePod and Apple TV device is ongoing, according to Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. As has been previously reported, Gurman reiterated that the new device will feature a built-in screen and a camera for FaceTime calls.As part of its broader home, audio and accessories strategy, Apple has also begun early development of a HomePod speaker with a built-in...
HomePodandMini feature orange

Apple Releases HomePod 14.7 Software With Support for Managing Timers From the Home App

Monday July 19, 2021 10:58 am PDT by
Apple today released a new 14.7 software update for the HomePod and the HomePod mini, which is designed to accompany the iOS 14.7 release that is now available on the iPhone. According to Apple's release notes, today's update allows users to manage timers directly from the Home app on the iPhone and the iPad. Apple says the update also includes general performance and stability improvements. ...