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.
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.