Apple may be getting closer to launching the rumored lower-priced HomePod

Ever since Apple launched its first smart speaker, the HomePod, back in 2018, there have been rumors that a smaller, less expensive model is also in the works.

For those keeping track, the rumors of a cheaper HomePod, which could be smaller than the original model, started cropping up in June — just four months after the smart speaker launched. In August of 2018 we heard that the new model could boast only a pair of tweeters, along with the smaller frame, which would help drop the price tag. And later in that same month another analyst was suggesting a lower-priced HomePod would launch in 2019.

Here we are almost halfway through 2020 and there still is only one HomePod for people to buy. It’s still priced at $299 for consumers from Apple’s website, but right now Best Buy is currently hosting a deal for the HomePod that drops the price to $199.99 this week. That suggests the big box retailer is trying to move stock, clearing the shelves as they say. Which could be an indicator that a new device is indeed on the way.

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg feels the same way, highlighting the fact that Apple employees can now buy up to 10 HomePods at once (up from two at a single time). This appears to be yet another sign that Apple is gearing up to launch a new HomePod, and with all of the rumors pointing to a model that costs less than the original, that still appears to be the consensus today.

And let’s not forget that Apple dropped the price of the HomePod to just $149 for employees back in April of this year.

Back in March, there was a Bloomberg report that detailed Apple’s plans through 2020 — even as the global coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc. There are a variety of devices still in the works, including a new HomePod, a new Apple TV, a new iMac, a new Apple Watch, and more.

Details about what a future HomePod might offer are foggy at best. Sure, we’ve heard multiple times that it will be smaller, that it will cost less than the original, and that it will probably sound less high-end than the original, too. However, there is also a possibility that the new HomePod also features touch controls built into the fabric of the smart speaker. Or Apple could be saving that particular feature for a future revision of the more expensive model, a true follow-up to the original HomePod.

Either way, it’s about time the HomePod gets a refresh, so we’re looking forward to seeing what that looks like.

How about you? If you own an OG HomePod, would you be interested in picking up a new one if the price were lower? Let us know in the comments below.