Apple may launch cheaper HomePod this year

Today is Apple HomePod’s second birthday, with deliveries to customers and in-store availability having begun February 9, 2018 in the United States, Australia, and United Kingdom.

Apple’s $299 HomePod delivers stunning audio quality wherever it’s placed — in any room in the house, playing any style of music. Using just your voice, it’s easy and fun to use, and works together with an Apple Music subscription for a breakthrough music experience, providing access to one of the world’s largest cloud music libraries. Siri, now actively used on over half a billion devices, has developed a deep knowledge of music and understands your preferences and tastes. And with Siri, HomePod can send a message, set a timer, play a podcast, check the news, sports, traffic and weather, control a wide range of HomeKit smart home accessories, and more.

Now, there’s word that Apple may launch a cheaper HomePod this year.

cheaper HomePod may arrive this year. Pictured: Appl  HomePod
Apple’s HomePod

Joe Rossignol for MacRumors:

Many estimates place the HomePod’s worldwide market share at around just five percent.

Pricing is the HomePod’s biggest obstacle. The speaker’s two largest competitors in the Amazon Echo and Google Home have low-priced models that frequently retail for $49 or below, whereas only one HomePod model is available for $299.

That may change in the near future, however, as Bloomberg last year reported that a lower-priced HomePod with fewer tweeters may launch as early as this year: Apple is also working on a cheaper HomePod for as early as next year. The current $300 model hasn’t sold very well. The new model is likely to have two tweeters (a type of loudspeaker), down from seven in the current HomePod.

MacDailyNews Take: AT $299, HomePod is a steal. That said, certainly a cheaper HomePod would help bring more people into Apple smart speaker (Siri, Apple Music) fold.

17 Comments

  1. A 5% market share with a $300 device actually results in 25% revenue share if the remaining 95% of the market consists of $49 devices.

    HomePod is doing way better than the media would have us believe…

    1. Doubt it. Homepod is largely an Apple Music interface. Alexa is largely an Amazon storefront interface. Which do you think makes more money in total?

      Apple’s hardware (which is in discount bins now if you look) could be selling at a loss for all we know. Homepod is definitely not a volume seller, and Apple Music subscriptions didn’t jump when it was released. Amazon hardware has always been designed as a loss leader to sell other stuff, and apparently there are enough gullible people looking for cheap stocking stuffers that Amazon has actually increased the number of models in its homespy range.

  2. I just want a Siri terminal for my rooms. I don’t need tweeters and stunning sound. I have built in audio throughout my home. So please release some dot type Siri devices.

  3. Price is not the only factor. As Charlie implies, availability in more markets would without doubt increase sales. The sticking point seems to be Siri. For example, Apple TV pushed for its use of Siri when it was released, is not available with Siri in many markets (I just use the manual controller). If this speaker system were available here,I would buy. I am sure I am not alone.

  4. As a single device it’s decent value, but the problem is if you want to use them as a stereo pair and/or want to have them in multiple rooms it gets expensive quickly. I don’t need such high quality in every room.

      1. I have mine in the kitchen so I’m not really bothered about it, but certainly if I was to start putting them in other rooms I’d want other options. I’d probably put any new/cheaper model in the kitchen then add another for stereo elsewhere.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.