Apple Reintroduced the HomePod a Year Ago Today
Apple relaunched the HomePod one year ago today, debuting a second-generation model almost five years after the original model's introduction.
The HomePod was announced at WWDC in 2017 and launched in 2018 after a heavily delayed launch. The device was met with mixed reviews; critics praised its outstanding sound quality but pointed out its high price, missing features, and limited functionality compared to rivals.
Apple dropped its price from $349 to $299 in April 2019 and, in March 2021, the company announced that it was discontinuing the first-generation HomePod, instead shifting its focus to the HomePod mini, which launched the previous year. The decision left a gap in Apple's product lineup for a full-sized smart speaker until the company introduced the second-generation model via a press release on January 18, 2023.
The second-generation HomePod looks virtually identical to the original, although it is 0.2 inches shorter and has a larger edge-to-edge LED touchscreen on top. It also boasts a range of upgrades and changes compared to its 2018 predecessor:
|HomePod (second-generation, 2023)
|HomePod (first-generation, 2018)
|Refined design with acoustically transparent mesh fabric
|Design with acoustically transparent mesh fabric
|Larger backlit touch surface that illuminates from edge to edge
|Backlit touch surface
|S7 chip from 2021's Apple Watch Series 7
|A8 chip from 2013's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
|U1 ultra wideband chip
|Five horn-loaded tweeters
|Seven horn-loaded tweeters
|Four far-field beamforming microphones
|Six far-field beamforming microphones
|6.6 inches tall
|6.8 inches tall
|Weighs 5.16 pounds
|Weighs 5.5 pounds
|Removable power cable
|Fixed power cable
|Wi-Fi 4 connectivity (802.11n)
|Wi-Fi 5 connectivity (802.11ac)
|Temperature and humidity sensor
|Available in White and Midnight
|Available in White and Space Gray
While Apple's potential plans for a third-generation HomePod are unclear a year after the current model was introduced, there are a multitude of rumors surrounding a HomePod with an LCD touchscreen display arriving as soon as 2024.
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