HomePod mini on the way, but don't expect HomePod 2 | Cult of Mac

HomePod mini on the way this year, but don’t expect HomePod 2

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Apple debuts HomePod in India at its cheapest price yet
Are you excited at the prospect of a new HomePod?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple will introduce a HomePod mini in 2020, but don’t get your hopes up about a sequel to the original HomePod smart speaker, claims a reliable Apple leaker.

L0vetodream made the claim Tuesday on Twitter after Apple issued invites to its October 13 “Hi, Speed” event. Apple likely will unveil its final new hardware products of the year at that time.

https://twitter.com/L0vetodream/status/1313678039360831494

A new HomePod … just not a big one

A HomePod mini is a device I’ve wanted Apple to make since the original HomePod sprung onto shelves. The HomePod, with its high-end audio, is great. However, even after price cuts, it remains considerably more expensive than the under-$50 Echo Dot and Google Home Mini. For a lot of people, those cheaper devices offer an easy entry point into the smart speaker market. As a result, the cheap smart speakers capture the majority of sales. The question is how cheap Apple will be willing to go, while still offering a high-end audio experience (if that is, indeed, the plan.)

Given that Apple hasn’t updated the HomePod since 2017, it seems to be on Cupertino’s back burner. Perhaps that’s because a lot of smart speaker functionality, outside playing music, can be done on other Apple devices. But many people could be keen to buy a cheaper HomePod. Apple could find success, essentially following the model laid out by the iPhone SE and Apple Watch SE. HomePod SE, anyone?

There haven’t been rumors I’ve heard of a sequel to the HomePod. The lack of a full-size HomePod 2 at Apple’s event next week therefore isn’t too surprising. While Apple never released sales figures for the HomePod, reports suggest it remains a bit-player in the market. Meanwhile, rare (for Apple) price reductions suggest that smart speaker’s marketplace performance may not be quite what Apple hoped for.

Are you a HomePod fan? What are your hopes for the next generation of Apple smart speaker? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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