Aside from the new iPhone 12 family, Apple’s upcoming October 13 “Hi, Speed” event will serve as a launchpad for a smaller, more affordable HomePod speaker model, according to a serial leaker who also cautioned against a second-generation update to the current model.
The established leaker with the Twitter handle @L0vetodream claimed this morning that Apple will not announce a second-generation HomePod next Tuesday. The leaker, however, did confirm that we will be introduced to a smaller, less expensive HomePod during the event
Earlier this year, Apple began allowing employees to purchase up to ten HomePods at a 50 percent discount, up from the previous limit of two. Some observers had suggested that the larger purchase limit could be part of Apple’s efforts to clear out inventory of the current HomePod ahead of a new model.
We don’t know how Apple might be calling this smaller HomePod speaker, but smart money is on “HomePod mini” and — why not? — “HomePod SE.”
A smaller, heaper HomePod could widen the addressable market for Apple wireless speakers and bring price elasticity enabling the HomePod to better compete with the sub-$50 Echo Dot speakers from Amazon and Google’s Nest (previously Google Home), which starts at $99.
Apple hasn’t updated the HomePod since its 2017 debut.
there is no HomePod2 this year
only have mini one
— 有没有搞措 (@L0vetodream) October 7, 2020
When the HomePod debuted, it was priced on the high-end at $349. But the relatively high price has affected sales, prompting Apple’s leadership to bring the speaker down to $299 in April 2019. Having a smaller HomePod for under $100 may help boost sales and would be a great entry point for people who don’t own a smart speaker, but want one.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman learned that Apple’s rumored over-ear headphones (likely dubbed AirPods Studio), along with a smaller HomePod, will be coming later this year. Ahead of its October 13 event, the Cupertino company has abruptly stopped selling audio products from Sonos, Bose and Logitech on its online store, suggesting a major expansion of the audio strategy for the technology giant.