In an effort to boost sales, Apple’s decided to do something it rarely does by cutting the HomePod price by $50 to bring the Siri-powered speaker to $299, down from $349.
While the Cupertino tech giant did not advertise nor formally announce the price cut, the lower price is now reflected in the online store. As MacRumors notes, the price drop follows recent promotional discounts at several third-party retailers across the US.
“Similar price reductions also appeared in other regions and territories on Thursday, with the price of HomePod in the United Kingdom falling from £319 to £279, for instance,” the publication noted. AppleInsider learned from its Apple sources that the price cuts are permanent and a result of “manufacturing savings at scale.”
Apple may be planning to release a cheaper version of the speaker, Economic Daily reported a year ago. Subsequent supply chain whispers suggested that a cheaper HomePod, possibly advertised under the company’s Beats brand, might be priced as low as $199. Those reports were echoed by Bloomberg, which called for a second-generation HomePod in 2019.
Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo criticized HomePod’s $349 price tag for limiting its market potential. He also slammed Siri’s “uninspiring user experience” on the speaker relative to Amazon’s Echo with Alexa and Google’s Home devices with its own Assistant.
HomePod is not as widely available as its rivals.
The price drop follows a February report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners that estimated HomePod’s cumulative sales at 3.96 million units since January 2018, accounting for 6 percent of the US smart speaker installed base through the fourth quarter of 2018.
Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP:
Amazon and Google have succeeded in selling multiple units to a single household. Their strategies appear to include persuading owners to use smart speakers in multiple rooms, which helps create more active usage of the voice platform.
And, Google has mostly caught up to Amazon in this strategy. A year ago, almost twice the percentage of Amazon Echo users had multiple units as Google Home users. Now, about one-third of both Amazon Echo and Google Home users have multiple units.
Following its February 9, 2018 launch in the US, UK and Australia, the Siri-powered speaker expanded to Canada, France and Germany on June 18, 2018; Mexico and Spain on October 25, 2018; and Mainland China and Hong Kong on January 18, 2019.
By comparison, Amazon’s Echo range was available in as many as 40 countries globally as of November 2018 while the Google Home range is currently available in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, India and elsewhere.
Would you consider HomePod now that Apple has dropped its price?
And should Apple continue focusing on the high-end or relent and make an inexpensive hockey-puck like device for the sake of market share?
Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.