HomePod mini: priced at just $99, half the height, S5 chip, arriving in November & more

The Chinese Weibo account “Kang,” which has accurately predicted the iPhone SE price, the watchOS hand-washing feature and the iPad Air 3 specs, shared this morning several details regarding Apple’s smaller, more affordable HomePod model that’s rumored to be on the docket.

A machine translated version of the original post was shared on Twitter by leaker Ice Universe, and summarized by MacRumors. The upcoming speaker, reportedly marketed as “HomePod‌ mini,” will be less than half the height of the original HomePod: 3.3 inches versus 6.8 inches.

How to AirPlay to HomePod without Wi-Fi

Importantly, the Siri-powered speaker should be priced at just $99. By comparison, the original model debuted at $349, but allegedly poor sales prompted the company to permanently bring the price down to $299 in April 2019. As I opined before, a sub-$100 HomePod could hit the ground running and help boost Apple’s smart-speaker sales. At just $99, the HomePod mini might be just what Apple needed — a great entry point for would-be buyers.

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The leaker also mentions that the HomePod mini should go on sale on November 16-17 and be powered by a modified version of the S5 system-on-a-chip that debuted in the new Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 6. According to previous reporting from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the HomePod mini may compromise on certain features to achieve its low price, including using just two tweeters versus seven tweeters in the original model.

The leaker did not provide any information about the regular-sized HomePod. Another leaker, known under the handle @L0vetodream, claimed yesterday that we shouldn’t be expecting any concrete updates  regarding a second-generation HomePod at the upcoming Apple event.